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Arthroscopy. 2018 May;34(5):1447-1452. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2017.12.004.

Peripheral Nerve Injury After Elbow Arthroscopy: An Analysis of Risk Factors.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
2
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.
3
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.. Electronic address: papadonik@hotmail.com.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To identify risk factors associated with peripheral nerve injury after elbow arthroscopy and provide an updated incidence of those complications.

METHODS:

The elbow arthroscopies that were performed at our institution between 2006 and 2016 were identified. Over a 10-year period, 253 elbow arthroscopies were performed at our institution. Two hundred twenty-seven cases had a minimum follow-up of 4 weeks, and were included in our analysis. Minor and major nerve-related complications were recorded. The surgeon's experience and training, body max index of the patients, surgical tourniquet time, type of anesthesia or surgery, radiographic appearance of the elbow, diagnosis at the time of surgery, and presence of diabetes were analyzed.

RESULTS:

There were 12 reported peripheral nerve injuries, 10 minor (4.4%) and 2 major complications (0.9%). The risk factors examined in this study were not correlated with a higher rate of complications.

CONCLUSIONS:

The minor nerve-related complication rate was 4.4%, with a 0.9% incidence of major peripheral nerve injury. Based on these findings, we conclude that elbow arthroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. The risk factors examined in this study had no association with the rate of complications. This finding could be potentially related to type II or beta error in the analysis of risk factors for nerve injury. The exact reasons for nerve injury are not known from this study.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Level IV, retrospective case series.

PMID:
29398211
DOI:
10.1016/j.arthro.2017.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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