Radial Nerve Motor Palsy Following Seasonal Influenza Vaccination: A Case Report


This case report describes the course of a 26-year-old male who developed a dense motor palsy of the radial nerve after receiving a seasonal influenza vaccination. The palsy developed within 12 to 16 hours of inoculation and demonstrated no clinical recovery until 5 months postinjury. Electromyographic and nerve conduction studies obtained at six weeks postinjury were consistent with complete motor denervation. Sensory function was preserved. The injury was successfully treated nonoperatively with physical therapy and wrist splinting, and the palsy gradually resolved over the next several months. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 23(1):42–44, 2014)

Key words: influenza vaccination, Parsonage–Turner radial nerve palsy, postvaccination neuropathy

John S. Taras, MD, and Kenneth W. Donohue, MD