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Functional reconstructions using only ulnar nerve and ulnar nerve-innervated muscles for traumatic musculocutaneous, median and radial nerve palsies
  1. Makoto Motomiya1,
  2. Naoya Watanabe1,
  3. Daisuke Kawamura2 and
  4. Norimasa Iwasaki2
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Obihiro Kosei Hospital Hand Center, Obihiro, Japan
  2. 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Makoto Motomiya; motomiya530126{at}


A 20-year-old right-handed fisherman experienced a severe injury in a high-energy traffic accident. These injuries included a shaft fracture of the right humerus, open comminuted fracture of the right forearm and multiple peripheral nerve palsies involving the musculocutaneous, median and radial nerves. Six months after the initial treatment, the patient was referred to our hand surgeons for further treatment. Several operations for functional reconstruction using only the ulnar nerve and ulnar nerve-innervated muscles were performed: the main procedures included a partial ulnar nerve transfer for elbow flexion, flexor carpi ulnaris transfer for reconstruction of wrist and finger extension and opponensplasty using the abductor digiti minimi. Three years after the initial injury, the patient had relatively good function including elbow flexion and stable side pinch and grasp. Functional reconstruction using a combination of the ulnar nerve and ulnar nerve-innervated muscles may be useful in specific cases involving multiple peripheral nerve injuries.

  • trauma CNS /PNS
  • orthopaedics

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  • Contributors MM and NW wrote the first draft of the manuscript and participated in the follow-up examination of the patient and clinical material. MM and DK performed the surgery and coordinated and helped to draft and finalise the manuscript. NI participated in the manuscript preparation, assisted with the data analysis and interpretation and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.