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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Sep 15;110(4):1099-113.

Current approach to radial nerve paralysis.

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1
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.

Abstract

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Identify all potential points of radial nerve compression and other likely causes of radial nerve injury. 2. Accurately diagnose both surgical and nonsurgical causes of radial nerve paralysis. 3. Define a safe and effective approach to the surgical release and reconstruction of the radial nerve. Radial nerve paralysis, which can result from a complex humerus fracture, direct nerve trauma, compressive neuropathies, neuritis, or (rarely) from malignant tumor formation, has been reported throughout the literature, with some controversy regarding its diagnosis and management. The appropriate management of any radial nerve palsy depends primarily on an accurate determination of its cause, severity, duration, and level of involvement. The radial nerve can be injured as proximally as the brachial plexus or as distally as the posterior interosseous or radial sensory nerve. This article reviews the etiology, prognosis, and various treatments available for radial nerve paralysis. It also provides a new classification system and treatment algorithm to assist in the management of patients with radial nerve palsies, and it offers a simple, five-step approach to radial nerve release in the forearm.

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