Axillary nerve monitoring during arthroscopic shoulder stabilization.
ABSTRACT This study evaluated the ability of a novel intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring method used to locate the axillary nerve, predict relative capsule thickness, and identify impending injury to the axillary nerve during arthroscopic thermal capsulorrhaphy of the shoulder.
Prospective cohort study.
Twenty consecutive patients with glenohumeral instability were monitored prospectively during arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Axillary nerve mapping and relative capsule thickness estimates were recorded before the stabilization portion of the procedure. During labral repair and/or thermal capsulorrhaphy, continuous and spontaneous electromyography recorded nerve activity. In addition, trans-spinal motor-evoked potentials of the fourth and fifth cervical roots and brachial plexus electrical stimulation, provided real-time information about nerve integrity.
Axillary nerve mapping and relative capsule thickness were recorded in all patients. Continuous axillary nerve monitoring was successfully performed in all patients. Eleven of the 20 patients underwent thermal capsulorrhaphy alone or in combination with arthroscopic labral repair. Nine patients underwent arthroscopic labral repair alone. In 4 of the 11 patients who underwent thermal capsulorrhaphy, excessive spontaneous neurotonic electromyographic activity was noted, thereby altering the pattern of heat application by the surgeon. In 1 of these 4 patients, a small increase in the motor latency was noted after the procedure but no clinical deficit was observed. There were no neuromonitoring or clinical neurologic changes observed in the labral repair group without thermal application. At last follow-up, no patient in either group had any clinical evidence of nerve injury or complications from neurophysiologic monitoring.
We successfully evaluated the use of intraoperative nerve monitoring to identify axillary nerve position, capsule thickness, and provide real-time identification of impending nerve injury and function during shoulder thermal capsulorrhaphy. The use of intraoperative nerve monitoring altered the heat application technique in 4 of 11 patients and may have prevented nerve injury.
Level II, prospective cohort study.
- The Journal of Urology 04/2011; 185(4). DOI:10.1016/j.juro.2011.02.2627
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of neurologic injury after shoulder arthroplasty has been reported to be 1% to 4%. However, the true incidence may be higher, because injury is identified only clinically and examination of the post-arthroplasty shoulder is difficult. This study used intraoperative nerve monitoring to identify the incidence, pattern, and predisposing factors for nerve injury during shoulder arthroplasty. Continuous intraoperative monitoring of the brachial plexus was performed in 30 consecutive patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. Impending intraoperative compromise of nerve function was signaled by sustained neurotonic electromyographic activity or greater than 50% amplitude attenuation of transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (or both). Arm and retractor positions were recorded and adjusted to relieve tension. Patients with intraoperative nerve alerts underwent diagnostic electromyography at least 4 weeks postoperatively. Of the patients, 17 (56.7%) had 30 episodes of nerve dysfunction (ie, nerve alerts) during surgery. None of these 30 nerve alerts returned to baseline with retractor removal alone. Of the 30 alerts, 23 (76.7%) returned to baseline after repositioning of the arm into a neutral position. Postoperative electromyography results were positive in 4 of 7 patients (57.1%) who did not have a return to baseline transcranial electrical MEPs intraoperatively and in 1 of 10 (10%) whose nerve function did return to baseline. In all cases of positive postoperative electromyographic results, the pattern of nerve involvement matched the pattern of intraoperative nerve dysfunction. The affected nerves included the following: combined (ie, mixed plexopathy) (46.7%), musculocutaneous (20%), axillary (16.7%), ulnar (10%), and radial (6.7%). Prior shoulder surgery and passive external rotation of less than 10 degrees were associated with an increased incidence of nerve dysfunction (P < .05). The incidence of nerve injury during shoulder arthroplasty is likely greater than reported. Positioning of the arm at the extremes of motion should be minimized. Patients with decreased motion (<10 degrees passive external rotation with the arm at the side) and a history of prior open shoulder surgery are at higher risk for nerve injury and should be counseled on the increased risk. This patient population may also be considered for routine nerve monitoring.Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons ... [et al.] 05/2007; 16(3 Suppl):S2-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jse.2006.01.016
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of neurologic injury after proximal humerus fractures is variable, ranging from 6.2% to as much as 67%. However, it is unclear what factors might contribute to these injuries or whether they can be prevented by intraoperative nerve monitoring. Therefore, using intraoperative nerve monitoring, we assessed the incidence, pattern of nerve involvement, and predisposing factors for nerve injury before and during shoulder fracture fixation. We used continuous intraoperative monitoring of the brachial plexus in 37 patients undergoing open operative treatment of proximal humerus fractures. Impending intraoperative compromise of nerve function was signaled by sustained neurotonic EMG activity or greater than 50% amplitude attenuation of transcranial electrical motor evoked potentials (MEPs) (or both). When a nerve alert occurred, current surgical activity and arm and retractor position were recorded and adjustments were made to relieve tension. The intraoperative affected nerves included axillary (46%), combined (mixed plexopathy) (23%), radial (23%), musculocutaneous (4%), and ulnar (4%). Postoperatively, three patients had transient nerve palsies, which fully resolved within 3 weeks of surgery. Low body mass index (BMI) (22.7 ± 2.8), history of cervical spine disease, diabetes mellitus, and delay in surgical treatment (14 ± 2.9 days from time of injury) were associated with an increased incidence of nerve dysfunction. Our observations suggest transcranial electrical MEPs are sensitive indicators of impending iatrogenic injury to the brachial plexus or peripheral nerves (or both) during open operative treatment of proximal humerus fractures. The use of intraoperative nerve monitoring during these procedures may be considered for the prevention of nerve injury, particularly in patients with underlying cervical spine disease, low BMI, diabetes mellitus, and/or delay in surgical treatment greater than approximately 14 days. Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 09/2011; 469(9):2631-7. DOI:10.1007/s11999-010-1760-3