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Outcomes after Anterior Interosseous Nerve to Ulnar Motor Nerve TransferFunding None.
Background Ulnar nerve lesions proximal to the elbow can result in loss of intrinsic muscle function of the hand. The anterior interosseous nerve (AIN) to deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve (DBUN) transfer has been demonstrated to provide intrinsic muscle reinnervation, thereby preventing clawing and improving pinch and grip strength. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the AIN to DBUN transfer in restoring intrinsic muscle function for patients with traumatic ulnar nerve lesions.
Methods We performed a prospective, multi-institutional study of outcomes following AIN to DBUN transfer for high ulnar nerve injuries. Twelve patients were identified, nine of which were enrolled in the study. The mean time from injury to surgery was 15 weeks.
Results At final follow-up (mean postoperative follow-up 18 months + 15.5), clawing was observed in all nine patients with metacarpophalangeal joint hyperextension of the ring finger averaging 8.9 degrees (+ 10.8) and small finger averaging 14.6 degrees (+ 12.5). Grip strength of the affected hand was 27% of the unaffected extremity. Pinch strength of the affected hand was 29% of the unaffected extremity. None of our patients experienced claw prevention after either end-to-end (n = 4) or end-to-side (n = 5) AIN to DBUN transfer.
Conclusion We conclude that, in traumatic high ulnar nerve injuries, the AIN to DBUN transfer does not provide adequate intrinsic muscle reinnervation to prevent clawing and normalize grip and pinch strength.
Keywordsnerve transfer - peripheral nerve surgery - ulnar nerve - median nerve - plastic surgery - ulnar nerve trauma - anterior interosseous nerve - deep motor branch ulnar nerve
Witten informed consent was obtained from all subjects before the study.
Ethical approval for this study was obtained from Indiana University Health Institutional Review Board (#10180)
Received: 28 July 2022
Accepted: 07 September 2022
Article published online:
11 January 2023
© 2023. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, permitting unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction so long as the original work is properly cited. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
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