Outcome of tendon transfer for radial nerve paralysis: Comparison of three methods.Indian J Orthop. 2011 Nov; 45(6):558-62.IJ
Tendon transfer for radial nerve paralysis has a 100 years history and any set of tendons that can be considered to be useful has been utilized for the purpose. The pronator tress is used for restoration of wrist dorsiflexion, while the flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpiulnaris, and flexor digitorum superficialis are variably used in each for fingers and thumb movements. The present study was a retrospective analysis, designed to compare three methods of tendon transfer for radial nerve palsy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
41 patients with irreversible radial nerve paralysis, who had underwent three different types of tendon transfers (using different tendons for transfer) between March 2005 and September 2009, included in the study. The pronator teres was transferred for wrist extention. Flexor carpi ulnaris (group 1, n=18), flexor carpi radialis (group 2, n=10) and flexor digitorum superficialis (group 3, n=13) was used to achieve finger extention. Palmaris longus was used to achieve thumb extention and abduction. At the final examination, related ranges of motions were recorded and the patients were asked about their overall satisfaction with the operation, their ability, and time of return to their previous jobs, and in addition, disabilities of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) Score was measured and recorded for each patient.
The difference between the groups with regard to DASH score, ability, and time of return to job, satisfaction with the operation, and range of motions was not statistically significant (P>0.05). All of the patients had experienced functional improvement and overall satisfaction rate was 95%. No complication directly attributable to the operation was noted, except for proximal interphalangeal joint flexion contracture in three patents.
The tendon transfer for irreversible radial nerve palsy is very successful and probably the success is not related to type of tendon used for transfer.