BACKGROUND: Injury to distal portion of posterior cord of brachial plexus leads to palsy of radial and axillary nerves. Symptoms are usually motor deficits of the deltoid muscle; triceps brachii muscle; and extensor muscles of the wrist, thumb, and fingers. Tendon transfers, nerve grafts, and nerve transfers are options for surgical treatment of proximal radial nerve palsy to restore some motor functions. Tendon transfer is painful, requires a long immobilization, and decreases donor muscle strength; nevertheless, nerve transfer produces promising outcomes. We present a patient with proximal radial nerve palsy following a blunt injury undergoing triple nerve transfer.
CASE DESCRIPTION: The patient was involved in a motorcycle accident with complete palsy of the radial and axillary nerves. After 6 months, on admission, he showed spontaneous recovery of axillary nerve palsy, but radial nerve palsy remained. We performed triple nerve transfer, fascicle of ulnar nerve to long head of the triceps branch of radial nerve, flexor digitorum superficialis branch of median nerve to extensor carpi radialis brevis branch of radial nerve, and flexor carpi radialis branch of median nerve to posterior interosseous nerve, for restoration of elbow, wrist, and finger extensions, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Our experience confirmed functional elbow, wrist, and finger extensions in the patient. Triple nerve transfer restores functions of the upper limb in patients with debilitating radial nerve palsy after blunt injuries.