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Surg Neurol. 2005 Jan;63(1):5-18; discussion 18.

Intraoperative positioning nerve injuries.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, The Neurological Institute, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Intraoperative positioning nerve injuries are regrettable complications of surgery thought to arise from stretch and/or compression of vulnerable peripheral nerves. Generally thought to be preventable, these injuries still occur in patients despite rigorous preventative measures. Sometimes injuries, initially thought to be due to malpositioning, are caused by other factors, such as retraction injury or brachial plexitis. Because of the diversity of nerves susceptible to positioning injury, the clinician must be aware of a variety of presentations and must be able to distinguish them from other postoperative complaints. Prevention remains the mainstay of the management of positioning injuries. Diagnosed and managed appropriately, these lesions typically improve completely over time.

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