Scientific Articles   |    
Outcome of Surgical Reconstruction After Traumatic Total Brachial Plexus Palsy
Chaitanya Dodakundi, MBBS, MS(Orth)1; Kazuteru Doi, MD, PhD1; Yasunori Hattori, MD, PhD1; Soutetsu Sakamoto, MD1; Yuki Fujihara, MD1; Takehiko Takagi, MD, PhD1; Makoto Fukuda, MD1
1 Department of Orthopedics, Ogori Daiichi General Hospital, 862-3 Shimogo-Ogori, Yamaguchi 754-0002, Japan. E-mail address for K. Doi: doimicro@saikyo.or.jp
View Disclosures and Other Information
  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopedics, Ogori Daiichi General Hospital, Yamaguchi, Japan

Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Aug 21;95(16):1505-1512. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.K.01279
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case



Double free muscle transfer for the treatment of traumatic total brachial plexus injury provides useful prehensile function. We studied the outcome of this muscle transfer procedure, including the changes in disability and quality-of-life scores.


Thirty-six patients with traumatic total brachial plexus injury who underwent double free muscle transfer for reconstruction from 2002 to 2008 and had a minimum follow-up of twenty-four months after the second free muscle transfer were studied. All were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively with use of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires. A separate questionnaire was used to determine job status, pain, use of the reconstructed hand, and satisfaction with the procedure.


The mean patient age was twenty-nine years (range, sixteen to forty-nine years), and the mean duration of follow-up was thirty-six months (range, twenty-four to seventy-nine months). The mean active range of motion was 23° (range, 0° to 80°) for shoulder flexion, 31° (range, 0° to 90°) for shoulder abduction, −18° (range, −80° to 40°) for shoulder external rotation, 62° (range, 0° to 130°) for the shoulder rotation arc, 119° (range, 90° to 150°) for elbow flexion, and −33° (range, −60° to −20°) for elbow extension. The power of elbow flexion was M4 in twenty-five patients and M3 in eleven. Twenty-three patients had triceps nerve reconstruction; extension was M0 in two of these patients, M1 in seven, M2 in ten, and M3 in four. Total active motion of the fingers was 46° (range, 0° to 98°), with a mean hook grip strength of 4 kg (range, 0 to 12 kg). Wilcoxon tests revealed significant improvements in the DASH score and the SF-36 physical functioning, role physical, and physical component summary scores. The majority of patients worked but had changed their type of work, used the reconstructed hand in activities of daily living that required both hands, and were satisfied with the procedure.


Double free muscle transfer yielded satisfactory function and allowed use of the reconstructed hand in activities that required both hands. The improvement in the DASH score was greater than that in the SF-36 score.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    CT - Orthopaedic Foundation
    OK - The University of Oklahoma
    IL - Hinsdale Orthopaedics
    PA - Thomas Jefferson University