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  • Author or Editor: Jayme Augusto Bertelli x
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Jayme Augusto Bertelli, Marcos Flávio Ghizoni and Cristiano Paulo Tacca

In a case involving tetraplegia and paralysis of elbow extension, the authors transferred teres minor branches to the nerve of the triceps long head. Surgery was performed bilaterally 9 months after the patient sustained a spinal cord injury. Fourteen months postoperatively, elbow extension was complete (British Medical Research Council Score M4). Harvesting of the teres minor motor branch produced no deficits in shoulder function. In patients with tetraplegia, nerve transfer seems to be a promising new alternative for elbow extension reconstruction.

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Jayme Augusto Bertelli, Marcos Flávio Ghizoni and Cristiano Paulo Tacca


The objective of this study was to report the results of pronator quadratus (PQ) motor branch transfers to the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) motor branch to reconstruct wrist extension in C5–8 root lesions of the brachial plexus.


Twenty-eight patients, averaging 24 years of age, with C5–8 root injuries underwent operations an average of 7 months after their accident. In 19 patients, wrist extension was impossible at baseline, whereas in 9 patients wrist extension was managed by activating thumb and wrist extensors. When these 9 patients grasped an object, their wrist dropped and grasp strength was lost. Wrist extension was reconstructed by transferring the PQ motor to the ECRB motor branch. After surgery, patients were followed for at least 12 months, with final follow-up an average of 22 months after surgery.


Successful reinnervation of the ECRB was demonstrated in 27 of the 28 patients. In 25 of the patients, wrist extension scored M4, and in 2 it scored M3.


In C5–8 root injuries, wrist extension can be predictably reconstructed by transferring the PQ motor branch to reinnervate the ECRB.