Changing the concept of surgical treatment of the brachial plexus traumatic injuries
Keywords:brachial plexus, trauma, surgical treatment, nerve transfer, nerve grafting
Objective: the objective of this study was to retrospectively analyze the change in the surgical strategy (SS) of brachial plexus injuries (BPI), the outcomes of different SS and the factors that influenced the establishing process of a new SS in a single surgical centre in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Materials and Methods. 148 patients (mean age 29.5) received 76 neurolysis (N), 14 grafting (G) and 58 nerve transfer (NT) surgeries after a mean 7.4 months following BPI. 29 patients received NT of n. phrenicus, 7 –ulnar nerve fascicles, 9 – lateral pectoral nerve, 7 – medial pectoral nerve to musculocutaneous nerve aimed to restore active elbow flexion. Six other patients received NT of ipsilateral extraplexal motor nerves. The follow-up period included neurological examination (MRC Scale), electromyographic examination and angular deviation in the elbow joint during recovered active elbow flexion. 148 patients were retrospectively divided into two groups A (102 patients, received surgeries from surgical team #1) and B (46 patients, received surgeries from surgical team #2). The SS used in each group and its change with time was analyzed during the 6-year span.
Results. 41 patients (70.7%) showed recovery of effective power (Ep) (M4-5) of biceps brachii muscle (BB) after NT. 14 patients (18.4%) showed recovery of Ep of BB after N. 4 patients (28.6%) showed recovery of Ep of BB after G. Overall Group A patients received 55 NT, Group B – 3 NT. The number of NT among Group A patients increased in 2013-2019 from 31% to 100% with overall efficacy of NT increased from 50% to 83%.
Conclusions. SS of BPI changed only for Group A patients – N was completely replaced by NT in 2019. For Group B patients N remained SS of choice. The establishing of new SS was influenced by four factors (time, anatomy of injury, donor nerves, radiological findings). The factors being processed, allowed us to define optimal time, effective donors and non-reliability of radiology at BPI. We state that it is only matter of own experience, based on the thorough analysis of the technique, that brings positive outcomes after new SS has been adopted.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Vitalii I. Tsymbaliuk, Alexander A. Gatskiy, Ihor B. Tretyak, Iaroslav V. Tsymbaliuk, Albina I. Tretiakova, Jiang Hao
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