Posterior interosseous nerve palsy secondary to pigmented villonodular synovitis of the elbow: case report and review of literature

Orthop Traumatol Surg Res. 2013 Apr;99(2):247-51. doi: 10.1016/j.otsr.2012.11.015. Epub 2013 Mar 9.


Local tumor compression is the main mechanical cause of posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) palsy. The reported cases of these tumors do not include that of pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS). Here, we report a case of a 53-year-old male with a 9-year history of painless swelling in his left elbow and a few months of progressive weakness in his left hand. Imaging identified the mass, and histological examination of the biopsy specimens revealed PVNS. The mass was compressing the nerve at the arcade of Frohse, and we performed a complete resection of the mass. Following removal of the mass, the patient regained complete function in his left upper extremity, and no local recurrence has been detected after 2 postoperative years. The possibility of PVNS should be considered in the differential diagnosis of PIN palsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Elbow Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Forearm / innervation
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mononeuropathies / etiology*
  • Radial Nerve / anatomy & histology
  • Radiography
  • Recovery of Function
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / complications
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / surgery
  • Synovitis, Pigmented Villonodular / complications*
  • Synovitis, Pigmented Villonodular / diagnosis