Superficial Branch of the Radial Nerve Versus Sural Nerve Grafting After Traumatic Adult Brachial Plexus Injury


The purpose of this study was to compare two sources of nerve graft for brachial plexus reconstruction: the denervated superficial branch of the radial nerve (SBRN) and the sural nerve. Ninety-seven patients who underwent brachial plexus reconstruction with denervated SBRN nerve (24 patients with 24 grafts) or with sural nerve grafting (73 patients with 83 nerve grafts) were included. The two groups were compared with respect to postoperative muscle reinnervation, disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) scores. In the SBRN group, only four (17%) of the nerve grafts provided grade III or higher muscle function. In the sural nerve group, 31 (37%) of the nerve grafts provided grade III or higher muscle function. Smoking had a negative impact on muscle recovery. Denervated SBRN grafts are associated with inferior outcomes when compared with sural nerve grafts in the treatment of traumatic adult brachial plexus injuries. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 33(2):080-083, 2024)

Key words: superficial branch radial nerve, grafting, brachial plexus

SKU: JSOA-2024-33-2-03 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Andres A. Maldonado, MD, PhD; Eric R. Wagner, MD; Morad Askari, MD; Robert J. Spinner, MD; Allen T. Bishop, MD; and Alexander Y. Shin, MD