Neurotization of the Superficial Sensory Branch of Ulnar Nerve by the Distal Posterior Interosseous Nerve: Cadaveric Feasibility Study

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Abstract

Background

In 2014, Delclaux et al described a case wherein the Battiston and Lanzetta's technique, modified by utilization of the posterior interosseus nerve (PIN), was used to perform double neurotization of the ulnar nerve (UN). This study evaluates the feasibility of transfer of proprioceptive fascicles of the PIN to the superficial sensory branch of the UN (SSBUN).

Methods

The surgeries were performed on 16 fresh cadaveric wrist specimens. PIN transfer was performed through the interosseous membrane and sutured to the SSBUN. The diameter for each nerve, number of fascicles, and the percentage of fascicles without axons, under ×10, ×40, and ×100 magnifications were performed by two observers.

Results

Neurotization of the SSBUN by the PIN was successful in all cases. The median diameter of the SSBUN and PIN was 3.5 (3-4) and 2.3 mm (1.6-3), respectively. The SSBUN contained 5.5 fascicles (4-7), while the PIN contained 2 fascicles (0-4). The 16 PIN had limited (10 cases) or no axonal reserve (6 cases).

Conclusion

This study supports the surgical and anatomical feasibility of neurotization of the SSBUN by the PIN. However, the PIN's limited axonal reserve may partially or totally compromise recovery.

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