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Papers of the Week

2022 Sep 01

Ann Plast Surg



Surgical Treatment of Parsonage Turner Syndrome With Primary Nerve Transfers: A Case Series and Cadaver Dissection.


Winter J, Karir A, Clark TA, Giuffre JL
Ann Plast Surg. 2022 Sep 01; 89(3):301-305.
PMID: 35993685.


Parsonage Turner syndrome (PTS) is the development of severe, spontaneous pain with subsequent nerve palsy. Unfortunately, many patients never achieve full functional recovery, and many have chronic pain. The use of nerve transfers in PTS has not been reported in the literature. We present 4 cases of PTS treated surgically with primary nerve transfer and neurolysis of the affected nerve following the absence of clinical and electrodiagnostic recovery at 5 months from onset. In addition, we present a cadaver dissection demonstrating an interfascicular dissection of the anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) into its components to enable a fascicular transfer in partial AIN neuropathy. Two patients with complete axillary neuropathy underwent a neurorrhaphy between the nerve branch to the lateral head of the triceps and the anterior/middle deltoid nerve branch of the axillary nerve. Two patients with partial AIN neuropathy involving the FDP to the index finger (FDP2) underwent a neurorrhaphy between an extensor carpi radialis brevis nerve branch and the FDP2 nerve branch. All patients had neurolysis of the affected nerves. All subjects recovered at least M4 motor strength. The cadaver dissection demonstrates 3 separate nerve fascicles of the AIN into FPL, FDP2, and pronator quadratus that can be individually selected for reinnervation with a fascicular nerve transfer. Functional recovery for patients with PTS with neurolysis alone is variable. Surgical treatment with neurolysis and a nerve transfer to improve functional recovery when no recovery is seen by 5 months is an option.