Send to

Choose Destination
Neurocirugia (Astur). 2011 Dec;22(6):521-34.

[Nerve reconstruction techniques in traumatic brachial plexus surgery. Part 2: intraplexal nerve transfers].

[Article in Spanish]

Author information

Servicios de Neurocirugía, Hospital de León, León, España.


After the great enthusiasm generated in the '70s and '80s in brachial plexus surgery as a result of the incorporation of microsurgical techniques and other advances, brachial plexus surgery has been shaken in the last two decades by the emergence of nerve transfer techniques or neurotizations. This technique consists in sectioning a donor nerve, sacrificing its original function, to connect it with the distal stump of a receptor nerve, whose function was lost during the trauma. Neurotizations are indicated when direct repair is not possible, i.e. when a cervical root is avulsed at its origin in the spinal cord. In recent years, due to the positive results of some of these nerve transfer techniques, they have been widely used even in some cases where the roots of the plexus were preserved. In complete brachial plexus injuries, it is mandatory to determine the exact number of roots available (not avulsed) to perform a direct reconstruction. In case of absence of available roots, extraplexual nerve transfers are employed, such as the spinal accessory nerve, the phrenic nerve, the intercostal nerves, etc., to increase the amount of axons transferred to the injured plexus. In cases of avulsion of all the roots, extraplexal neurotizations are the only reinnervation option available to limit the long-term devastating effects of this injury. Given the large amount of reports that has been published in recent years regarding brachial plexus traumatic injuries, the present article has been written in order to clarify the concerned readers the indications, results and techniques available in the surgical armamentarium for this condition. Since the choice of either surgical technique is usually taken during the course of the procedure, all this knowledge should be perfectly embodied by the surgical team before the procedure. In a previous paper extraplexual nerve transfers were analyzed; this literature review complements the preceding paper analyzing intraplexual nerve transfers, and thus completing the analysis of the nerve transfers available in brachial plexus surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for Neurocirugia, journal of the Spanish Society of Neurosurgery
Loading ...
Support Center