Nerve transfers in brachial plexus palsies

Chir Main. 2009 Feb;28(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.main.2008.11.010. Epub 2008 Dec 25.


It has been many years now since the introduction of nerve transfers for repair of traumatic brachial plexus lesions and more recently, we have seen its application in the field of obstetric brachial plexus palsy. These nerve transfers do not represent an alternative to anatomical repair by means of nerve grafting, but represent an additional possibility to increase the reconstructive options and improve the final results. This pushes the surgeon to decide: which function is to be restored by nerve grafting, which one by nerve transfer? What is the more reliable procedure? Does the age of the patient, the delay after the accident, or the type of accident influence this choice? If we add in the possibilities of palliative treatment, one can state that many therapeutic options are available today for brachial plexus reconstruction, and that no real consensus does exist. But some tendencies, some trends are apparent.

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Nerve Transfer / methods*
  • Spinal Nerves / surgery