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J Hand Surg Am. 2015 Feb;40(2):308-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.10.033. Epub 2014 Dec 13.

A systematic review of outcomes reporting for brachial plexus reconstruction.

Author information

  • 1Division of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY; Division of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Electronic address: dyc@wudosis.wustl.edu.
  • 2Division of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY; Division of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To better understand the manner in which outcomes are reported after brachial plexus reconstruction, we conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature.

METHODS:

We included English-language articles describing treatment of brachial plexus injuries to restore motor function of the shoulder, elbow, forearm, and/or wrist with nerve repair, nerve graft, and/or nerve transfer. We recorded the anatomical location of injury, the treatment used, and the manner in which motor function, active and passive range of motion, pain, quality of life, function or disability, patient satisfaction, and psychosocial health was reported.

RESULTS:

In reviewing 88 papers with outcomes for 5,189 patients, 83 (94%) of the papers reported postoperative motor function. Of these, 49 (59%) did not include any other measures of patient outcome. Active range of motion was reported in 24 (27%) studies, pain was reported in 15 (17%) studies, quality of life was reported in 4 (5%) studies, function or disability was reported in 5 (6%) studies, patient satisfaction in 3 (3%) studies, and psychosocial health in 1 study.

CONCLUSIONS:

To date, outcome reporting for brachial plexus surgery has largely centered on motor recovery and typically has not included measures of function or nonmusculoskeletal recovery. Incorporating currently used measures of physical recovery with patient-derived outcomes measures such as quality of life, function, pain, and satisfaction will likely help provide a more comprehensive understanding of the effect of brachial plexus reconstruction surgery.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Diagnostic III.

KEYWORDS:

Brachial plexus; nerve repair; nerve transfer; outcomes; reporting

Comment in

PMID:
25510158
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.10.033
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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