gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Radial nerve reconstruction after traumatic injury associated with fracture of the humerus – factors affecting long-term outcome of motor function

Nervus-Radialis-Rekonstruktion nach traumatischer Läsion bei Oberarmfraktur

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author M.J. Mirzayan - Neurochirurgische Klinik , Medizinischer Hochschule Hannover
  • S. Mirzai - Klinikum Bamberg, Gemeinschaftspraxis für Neurochirurgie, Bamberg
  • A. Samii - Department of Neursurgery, International Neuroscience Institute Hannover
  • C. Probst - Klinik für Traumachirurgie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
  • M. Samii - Department of Neursurgery, International Neuroscience Institute Hannover

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocSO.04.07

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Mirzayan et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Due to its anatomical course with proximity to multiple bony and muscular structures, the radial nerve is highly susceptible to injury. Lack of spontaneous recovery under conservative treatment indicates neurosurgical exploration for nerve reanimation. This is a report about a consecutive series of 72 patients with posttraumatic radial nerve injury associated with humerus fractures that had surgical nerve reconstruction. We present an analysis of impact factors affecting the long-term outcome of motor function.

Methods: Between 1978 and 2002, 310 patients with isolated radial nerve injuries were treated in Neurosurgery Department of Nordstadt Hospital Hannover. 72 patients with traumatic radial nerve palsy associated with a fracture of the humerus underwent surgical nerve reconstruction by the senior author (M.S.) and his team. Nerve reconstruction was done within the first 5 months in 21 cases, between 6-12 months in 36 cases and later than 12 months in 15 cases. Graft lengths varied from 2 to 25 cm with a mean length of 10.8 cm.

Results: The location of the fracture, the age and sex of the patients had no significant influence on the postoperative outcome. A shorter time interval between injury and surgery resulted in a significantly better outcome. The length of the nerve graft is a further significant factor for the motor outcome.

Conclusions: Early referral of this patient group to specialized centres is of utmost importance.