Tendon transfers for C8-T1 palsy of the brachial plexus in adults

Hand Surg Rehabil. 2022 Feb:41S:S58-S62. doi: 10.1016/j.hansur.2018.03.009. Epub 2021 May 14.


Brachial plexus palsy after C8-T1 nerve root injury is rare, but causes a loss of finger flexion and extension, which greatly limits the patient's grip function. It can benefit from nerve transfers if the diagnosis is made early. Otherwise, tendon transfers may be proposed. Transfers of the extensor carpi radialis longus and brachioradialis to the flexor digitorum profundus and the flexor pollicis longus, respectively, restores finger flexion and thumb flexion. Tenodesis of the extensor digitorum communis allows passive extension of the fingers during active wrist flexion. Translocation of the flexor pollicis longus and the creation of a "lasso equivalent" on the flexor digitorum superficialis provides some recovery of the intrinsic function of the fingers and thumb. Finally, a nerve transfer of the lateral cutaneous nerve of forearm on the superficial branch of the ulnar nerve can improve sensitivity on the ulnar edge of the hand to limit the risk of cutaneous lesions, which frequently occur in this type of paralysis.

Keywords: Aran-Duchenne; Aran-Duchenne palsy; Brachial plexus palsy; C8-T1 roots; Palliatif; Paralysie plexus brachial; Racines C8-T1; Tendon transfer; Transferts tendineux.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies* / surgery
  • Brachial Plexus* / injuries
  • Brachial Plexus* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Nerve Transfer*
  • Paralysis / surgery
  • Tendon Transfer