Peripheral nerve injuries in the pediatric population: a review of the literature. Part II: entrapment neuropathies

Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 Jan;35(1):37-45. doi: 10.1007/s00381-018-3975-7. Epub 2018 Sep 12.


Introduction: Entrapment neuropathies are infrequent in children, and therefore remain unrecognized. The incidence of radial, median, and cubital mononeuropathies are all similar. Despite the rarity of such cases, extensive, albeit scattered, literature has accumulated concerning entrapment neuropathies in children.

Objective: To the literature concerning entrapment neuropathies in children.

Methods: A systematic review of the existing literature has been made.

Results: The management of chronic pediatric pain is very important in such patients to prevent youths from experiencing prolonged absences from school, sports, or other productive activities, and limit the psychological burden of chronic disease. Nonsurgical treatment of both cubital and carpal tunnel syndromes has been disappointing in pediatric patients, with only limited success; and, to date, there is no clear explanation for the outcome differences generated by nonsurgical management between adults and youths. Simple decompression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow also has much higher rates of failure in children than in adults.

Conclusions: The presence of an entrapment neuropathy (specially carpal tunnel syndrome) in a pediatric-age patient should alert medical care providers to the potential of some underlying genetic condition or syndrome.

Keywords: Carpal tunnel; Entrapment neuropathies; Pediatric population; Ulnar nerve compression.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / complications
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Pain / etiology
  • Chronic Pain / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / complications
  • Nerve Compression Syndromes / therapy*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / complications
  • Peripheral Nerve Injuries / therapy*