Nerve transfer to the deltoid muscle using the nerve to the long head of the triceps with the da Vinci robot: six cases

J Reconstr Microsurg. 2014 Jul;30(6):375-80. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1361927. Epub 2014 Jun 23.

Abstract

Background: Nerve transfer to the deltoid muscle using the nerve to the long head of the triceps is a reliable method for restoration of deltoid function. The aim of this retrospective study was to report the results of nerve transfer to the deltoid muscle using the nerve to the long head of the triceps procedure using a robot.

Methods: Our series included six patients (mean age 36.3 years) with total deltoid muscle paralysis. A da Vinci-S robot was placed in position. After dissection of the quadrilateral and triangular spaces, the anterior branch of the axillary nerve and the branch to the long head of the triceps were transected, and then robotically sutured with two 10-0 nylon stiches. In two cases, an endoscopic procedure was tried under carbon dioxide (CO2) insufflation.

Results: In all patients except one, deltoid function against resistance (M4) was obtained at the last follow-up evaluation. The average shoulder abduction was 112 degrees. No weakness of elbow extension was observed. In two cases with the endoscopic technique, vision was blurred and conversion to open technique was performed.

Conclusion: The advantages of robotic microsurgery are motion scaling and disappearance of physiological tremor. Reasons for failure of the endoscopic technique could be explained by insufficient pressure. We had no difficulty using the robot without the sensory feedback. The robot-assisted nerve transfer to deltoid muscle using the nerve to the long head of the triceps was a feasible application for restoration of shoulder abduction after brachial plexus or axillary nerve injury. Therapeutic Study. Level of Evidence IV.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus / surgery*
  • Conversion to Open Surgery
  • Deltoid Muscle / innervation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery
  • Nerve Transfer / methods*
  • Paralysis / surgery*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology