Author(s): Samardzic MM, Rasulic LG, Grujicic DM
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Gunshot wounds to the brachial plexus present a specific problem in peripheral nerve surgery. The purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of these injuries and the possibilities for functional recovery after their surgical treatment. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of nerve lesions and results of surgery. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The series consists of 54 patients operated on, with 148 injured nerve elements, i.e., with 163 injured nerve elements when individual components of complex brachial plexus structures are included. Surgical procedures involved exploration, neurolysis, and nerve grafting, or their combination, depending on intraoperative findings. The surgical results were analyzed in 46 patients (85.1\%) with 119 (80.1\%) of the 148 nerve elements, with follow-up periods of more than 24 months. Standard grading scores for motor and sensory function were used and ranged according to functional priorities in the surgery of brachial plexus and individual nerves. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Neurolysis and nerve grafting generally gave similar rates of functional recovery, 90.2 and 87.8\%, respectively. They were successful in all cases with injuries to the upper spinal nerves, the upper trunk, the lateral and posterior cord, and the musculocutaneous and axillary nerves. The failures were related to neurolysis or grafting of the ulnar and radial nerve lesions. CONCLUSION: Compared with previous studies, the number of lesions with complete functional loss and complete anatomic loss of continuity is larger. In cases that were prognostically favorable according to the location of injury, the results are similar regardless of the type of nerve repair.
This article was published in J Trauma
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation