Indian Journal of Neurotrauma 2008; 05(02): 95-104
DOI: 10.1016/S0973-0508(08)80008-1
Original Article
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Multiple nerve transfers for the reanimation of shoulder and elbow functions in irreparable C5, C6 and upper truncal lesions of the brachial plexus

PS Bhandari
,
LP Sadhotra
,
P Bhargava
,
AS Bath
,
MK Mukherjee
,
TS Bhatti
,
S Maurya

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 April 2017 (online)

Abstract

In irreparable C5, C6 spinal nerve and upper truncal injuries the proximal root stumps are not available for grafting, hence repair is based on nerve transfer or neurotization. Between Feb 2004 and May 2006, 23 patients with irreparable C5, C6 or upper truncal injuries of the Brachial Plexus underwent multiple nerve transfers to restore the shoulder and elbow functions. Most of them (16 patients) sustained injury following motor cycle accidents. The average denervation period was 5.3 months. Shoulder function was restored by transfer of distal part of spinal accessory nerve to suprascapular nerve, and transfer of radial nerve branch to long head of triceps to the anterior branch of axillary nerve. Elbow function was restored by transfers of ulnar and median nerve fascicles to the biceps and brachialis motor branches of musculocutaneous nerve. All patients recovered shoulder abduction and external rotation; 7 scored M4 and 16 scored M3. Range of abduction averaged 1230(range, 800-1700). Full elbow flexion was restored in all 23 patients; 15 scored M4 and 8 scored M3. Patients with excellent results could lift 5 kgs of weight. Selective nerve transfers close to the target muscle provide an early and good return of functions. There is negligible morbidity in donor nerves. These intraplexal transfers are suitable in all cases of upper brachial plexus injuries.