Neurolysis of the distal superficial radial nerve for dysaesthesia due to nerve tethering

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2008 Apr;33(2):152-4. doi: 10.1177/1753193407087892.


The subcutaneous course of the superficial radial nerve over the radial border of the wrist and hand renders it very susceptible to injury. Both traumatic and iatrogenic injury can produce tethering of this nerve, presenting as dysaesthesia. This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of neurolysis of the distal superficial radial nerve for this condition. Twenty-five cases of tethered superficial radial nerves underwent neurolysis. At final follow-up (mean 3.5 years), fourteen cases reported symptomatic resolution while eleven continued to experience dysaesthesia. Intra-operatively, evidence of external abnormality, scarring, or compression was identified in only six cases, and its presence did not correlate with symptomatic outcome. Although the majority of patients were improved postoperatively, the success rate was lower than anticipated. Therefore, while neurolysis of the superficial radial nerve offers the opportunity for pain relief, it does not reliably produce success.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresthesia / etiology*
  • Radial Nerve / injuries*
  • Radial Nerve / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies