Photobiomodulation After Neurotization (Oberlin Procedure) in Brachial Plexus Injury: A Randomized Control Trial

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2020 Apr;38(4):215-221. doi: 10.1089/photob.2019.4757.


Objective: To investigate effect of photobiomodulation (PBM) on nerve regeneration after neurotization with the Oberlin Procedure (ulnar fascicle to motor branch to biceps) to restore elbow flexion in patients with brachial plexus injury. Materials and methods: This prospective randomized controlled trial was conducted with 14 patients with high brachial plexus injury who underwent neurotization with the Oberlin Procedure to restore elbow flexion. The patients were randomly allocated to two groups of equal numbers: control group and PBM group. In this study, the PBM used has a wavelength of 808 nm, 50 mW power, continuous mode emission, 4 J/cm2 dosimetry, administered daily for 10 consecutive days, with an interval of 2 days (weekends). The outcome of surgery was assessed after 1, 2, 3, and 6 months. The nonparametric Mann-Whitney U-test and chi-square test were utilized to compare the results between both groups. Results: After 3 months postoperatively, more patients in the PBM group had demonstrated signs of reinnervation and the mean muscle power was significantly higher in the PBM group. No adverse effects resulted from the administration of PBM. Conclusions: PBM is a treatment modality that can improve nerve regeneration after neurotization with the Oberlin Procedure.

Keywords: Oberlin Procedure; brachial plexus injury; nerve regeneration; neurotization; photobiomodulation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries*
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies / therapy*
  • Elbow Joint
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Malaysia
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength
  • Nerve Regeneration
  • Nerve Transfer*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult