Long-term functional results after radial nerve repair

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2011;45(6):387-92. doi: 10.3944/AOTT.2011.2530.


Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the functional results of end-to-end repairs in radial nerve injuries.

Methods: The study included 18 (15 males, 3 females) patients who underwent middle level end-to-end radial nerve repair and who responded to our final follow-up call. Patients' average age was 30 (range: 16 to 43) years. The average time lapse between injury and repair was 25.1 days (range: 1 day to 13 months). Pinch and grip strength measurements were graded according to the modified Verga classification. The Highet classification was used for the evaluation of sensorial recovery. Functional outcome were assessed with the DASH-T score. Average follow-up time was 62.5 (range: 24 to 156) months.

Results: Motor function according to the Verga classification was excellent in 16 patients and poor in two. Pinch and grip power measurement comparison of the two sides in the 16 patients with excellent results showed a respective 24.1% and 14.3% decrease on the affected side. According to Highet's classification, sensorial evaluation was S4 in seven patients, S3+ in four, S3 in three, S2+ in one, S2 in one, and S1 in two patients. The average DASH-T score of patients with excellent results was 7.3.

Conclusion: Radial nerve repairs, if done end-to-end using an appropriate technique, may lead to nearly full recovery in younger patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hand Strength
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pinch Strength
  • Radial Nerve / injuries*
  • Radial Nerve / surgery*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Young Adult