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The influence of pre-surgical delay on functional outcome after reconstruction of brachial plexus injuries.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Anatomy. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Hand Surgery.
2009 (English)In: Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS, ISSN 1878-0539, Vol. 62, no 4, 472-479 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has been proposed that delayed surgery after traumatic brachial plexus injury may adversely affect functional outcome. In this study the influence of pre-surgical delay on the outcome of brachial plexus reconstruction was examined retrospectively. All patients who underwent surgery for traumatic brachial plexus injury in the Leeds Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery unit (UK), between 1987 and 2002, were identified. Of the 110 patients identified, 27 had nerve grafting to the upper trunk to restore shoulder and biceps muscle function. Postoperative functional outcome was evaluated in this subgroup of patients. The 27 patients were divided into three groups: surgery <2 weeks (n=10), 2 weeks to 2 months (n=10) and >2 months (n=7) following injury. The efficacy of nerve grafting was correlated to pre- and postoperative biceps strength, which was assessed using the British Medical Research Council (MRC) Motor Grading Scale. In all patients the preoperative elbow grade was M0. The results showed that in the <2 weeks, 2 weeks-2 months and >2 months delay groups, the mean postoperative elbow MRC grades were 4.2+/-SD 1.0, 3.8+/-SD 0.8 and 1.1+/-SD 1.7, respectively. Functionally better results were obtained with early surgery. When surgery was delayed beyond 2 months there was no significant difference between mean pre- and postoperative elbow grades. We therefore believe that early exploration and reconstruction of adult traumatic brachial plexus injuries minimises the pernicious adverse effects of delay attributable to recent findings of the neurobiological effects of axonal damage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 62, no 4, 472-479 p.
Keyword [en]
Pre-surgical delay, Timing, Nerve repair, Traumatic brachial plexus injuries
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-32021DOI: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.11.027PubMedID: 18485850OAI: diva2:301278
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-02-26 Last updated: 2010-06-24Bibliographically approved

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Wiberg, Mikael
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