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Arthroscopy. 1988;4(4):284-6.

Compression neuropathy of the radial nerve as a complication of elbow arthroscopy: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine, Norfolk, Virginia.


Arthroscopic surgery of the elbow was performed in a 14-year-old male athlete for diagnosis and treatment of osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum. Anterolateral and anteromedial portals were used in accordance with described technique. Postsurgical examination revealed an immediate and complete palsy of the posterior interosseous nerve. This complication was attributed to the manipulation of the arthroscope and instrumentation in close proximity to the radial nerve. Neuromuscular function returned to normal over a 6-month period. This case demonstrates the importance of portal placement and instrument manipulation in arthroscopic evaluation and treatment of the elbow. Further study is necessary to develop technical and procedural improvements to assure safe and effective arthroscopic treatment.

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