Upper limb nerve injuries in developmental age

Filippo M. Senes, Riccardo Campus, Flavio Becchetti, Nunzio Catena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our series includes 105 children with peripheral nerve injuries of the upper limb due to trauma. The aim of this study is to validate our therapeutic approach to peripheral nerve injuries of the upper limb in children and to identify the suitable waiting time before surgical exploration. Case series examination included evaluation of (1) type of lesion; (2) topographical site of nerve injury; (3) motor and sensory outcome; (4) recovery time; (5) results after surgery. Open injuries (Sunderland V) received immediate treatment with direct suturing or nerve grafts or biological tubules in case of loss of nerve substance. After closed nerve injury, a waiting period of variable duration should precede surgery. Most of the cases had peripheral nerve injuries associated to fracture and cutting lesions followed by injuries due to other causes. Open or closed injuries of the median and radial nerves had a generally favorable prognosis, whereas ulnar nerve injuries (both isolated and associated) had a poor prognosis. Stable skeletal fixation is essential in fractures at risk of nerve involvement. During nerve exploration, secondary surgery interventions were never associated. In the absence of adequate clinical and instrumental response, the authors suggest to resort to nerve surgery at 6 months from injury to accelerate recovery time. Secondary surgery should be delayed as patient's recovery time can be very long.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-535
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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