Brachial plexus injury in Thailand: a report of 520 cases

Microsurgery. 1995;16(1):35-9. doi: 10.1002/micr.1920160110.


Between October 1984 and October 1993, 520 patients with traumatic brachial plexus injuries were treated at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok. There were 486 male and 34 female patients. Eighty-two percent of the injuries were caused by motorcycle accidents, 9% by other traffic accidents, and 9% by gunshot, stabbing, and other means. The initial physical examination revealed 332 (63.8%) complete paralyses and 88 (36.2%) incomplete paralyses. One hundred twenty-seven patients were treated conservatively, 43 patients were observed before definitive treatment was given, and 350 patients were treated by operative means. Four hundred and twenty-one surgical procedures were performed, consisting of 314 neurotisations (250 spinal accessory, 14 plexo-plexal, 21 intercostal, 21 phrenic, 4 cervical plexus, 1 long thoracic, and 3 neuromuscular), 38 neurolyses, 23 nerve grafting, 16 free muscle transfers combined with neurotisations, and 30 musculotendinous transfers. Motor functional recovery of patients followed up for more than 2 years was evaluated. Nerve grafting gave 82% good (more than MRC grade 3) and 18% fair and poor recovery. Neurolysis gave 69% good and 31% fair and poor recovery. In patients with neurotisation, the spinal accessory (to suprascapular, axillary, and musculotaneous) intercostal (to musculotaneous), phrenic (to suprascapular, axillary, and musculocutaneous), and plexo- plexal methods gave a significant number of good results.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brachial Plexus / injuries*
  • Brachial Plexus / surgery
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Transfer*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thailand
  • Treatment Outcome