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J Neurosurg. 2011 May;114(5):1457-60. doi: 10.3171/2010.12.JNS101519. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Transfer of the teres minor motor branch for triceps reinnervation in tetraplegia.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Center of Biological and Health Sciences, University of the South of Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Tubarão, Santa Catarina, Brazil.


In a case involving tetraplegia and paralysis of elbow extension, the authors transferred teres minor branches to the nerve of the triceps long head. Surgery was performed bilaterally 9 months after the patient sustained a spinal cord injury. Fourteen months postoperatively, elbow extension was complete (British Medical Research Council Score M4). Harvesting of the teres minor motor branch produced no deficits in shoulder function. In patients with tetraplegia, nerve transfer seems to be a promising new alternative for elbow extension reconstruction.

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