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Posterior interosseous nerve paralysis secondary to an extraneural ganglion cyst from a radial neck pseudarthrosis: illustrative case

Karina A. Lenartowicz, Robert J. Spinner, Kimberly K. Amrami, and Shawn W. O’Driscoll


Many benign and malignant tissue or bony lesions have been reported as causes of extrinsic or intrinsic posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) neuropathy at the proximal forearm/elbow region. The authors describe an unusual cause of external compression of the PIN due to a ganglion cyst arising from a radial neck pseudarthrosis (a false joint).


Decompression of the PIN with the release of the arcade of Frohse was performed with resection of the radial head and the ganglion cyst. By 6 months postoperatively, the patient had a complete neurological recovery.


This case illustrates a previously unreported cause of extraneural compression of the PIN from a pseudarthrosis. The mechanism for compression in this case from the radial head pseudarthrosis is likely attributable to the sandwich effect, in which the PIN is sandwiched between the arcade of Frohse at the supinator from above and the cyst below.