Two unusual anatomic variations create a diagnostic dilemma in distal ulnar nerve compression
Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.Clinical Anatomy (Impact Factor: 1.33). 09/2008; 21(6):592-7. DOI: 10.1002/ca.20681
Diagnosis of peripheral neuropathies is based upon patterns of functional deficits and electrodiagnostic testing. However, anatomic variations can lead to confounding patterns of physical and electrodiagnostic findings. Authors present a case of ulnar nerve compression due to a rare combination of anatomic variations, aberrant branching pattern, and FCU insertion at the wrist, which posed a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma. The literature related to isolated distal ulnar motor neuropathy and anatomic variations of the ulnar nerve and adjacent structures is also reviewed. This case demonstrates how anatomic variations can complicate the interpretation of clinical and electrodiagnostic findings and underscores the importance of thorough exploration of the nerve in consideration for possible variations.
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ABSTRACT: Peripheral nerve entrapments are frequent. They usually appear in anatomical tunnels such as the carpal tunnel. Nerve compressions may be due to external pressure such as the fibular nerve at the fibular head. Malignant or benign tumors may also damage the nerve. For each nerve from the upper and lower limbs, detailed clinical, electrophysiological, imaging, and therapeutic aspects are described. In the upper limbs, carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy at the elbow are the most frequent manifestations; the radial nerve is less frequently involved. Other nerves may occasionally be damaged and these are described also. In the lower limbs, the fibular nerve is most frequently involved, usually at the fibular head by external compression. Other nerves may also be involved and are therefore described. The clinical and electrophysiological examination are very important for the diagnosis, but imaging is also of great use. Treatments available for each nerve disease are discussed.
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