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Symeon Missios, Kimon Bekelis and Robert J. Spinner

Object

Despite the negative effects of peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) on long-term population health, their true prevalence among pediatric trauma patients is under debate. The authors investigated the prevalence of PNIs among children involved in trauma and investigated associations between PNIs and several patient characteristics.

Methods

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of pediatric trauma patients who were registered in the National Trauma Data Bank from 2009 through 2011 and who fulfilled the study inclusion criteria. They used regression techniques to investigate the association of demographic and socioeconomic factors with the rate of PNIs among these patients.

Results

Of the 245,470 study patients, 50,211 were involved in motor vehicle crashes, 3380 in motorcycle crashes, 20,491 in bicycle crashes, 18,262 in pedestrian accidents, 26,294 in other crashes (mainly involving all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles), and 126,832 in falls. The respective prevalence of PNIs was 0.66% for motor vehicle crashes, 1% for motorcycle crashes, 0.38% for bicycle crashes, 0.42% for pedestrian accidents, 0.79% for other crashes, and 0.52% for falls. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that the following were associated with an increased incidence of PNIs: increased patient age (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20), higher Injury Severity Score (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20), elevated systolic blood pressure at arrival at the emergency room (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20), and increased number of trauma surgeons at the institution (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20). The following were associated with lower incidence of PNIs: female sex (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87–1.02), rural hospitals (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87–1.02), and urban nonteaching hospitals (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87–1.02).

Conclusions

PNIs are more common than previously identified for the pediatric trauma population. These injuries are associated with older age and increased severity of the overall injury.

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Kimon Bekelis, Symeon Missios and Robert J. Spinner

OBJECT

Despite the growing epidemic of falls, the true incidence of peripheral nerve injuries (PNIs) in this patient population remains largely unknown.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective cohort study of 839,210 fall-injured patients who were registered in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) between 2009 and 2011 and fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Regression techniques were used to investigate the association of demographic and socioeconomic factors with the rate of PNIs in this patient population. The association of age with the incidence of PNIs was also investigated.

RESULTS

Overall, 3151 fall-injured patients (mean age 39.1 years, 33.3% females) sustained a PNI (0.4% of all falls). The respective incidence of PNIs was 2.7 per 1000 patients for ground-level falls, 4.9 per 1000 patients for multilevel falls, and 4.5 per 1000 patients for falls involving force. This demonstrated a rapid increase in the first 2 decades of life, with a maximum rate of 1.1% of all falls in the 3rd decade, followed by a slower decline and eventual plateau in the 7th decade. In a multivariable analysis, the association of PNIs with age followed a similar pattern with patients 20–29 years of age, demonstrating the highest association (OR 2.34 [95% CI 2.0–2.74] in comparison with the first decade of life). Falls involving force (OR 1.25 [95% CI 1.14–1.37] in comparison with multilevel falls) were associated with a higher incidence of PNIs. On the contrary, female sex (OR 0.87 [95% CI 0.80–0.84]) and ground-level falls (OR 0.79 [95% CI 0.72–0.86]) were associated with a lower rate of PNIs.

CONCLUSIONS

Utilizing a comprehensive national database, the authors demonstrated that PNIs are more common than previously described in fall-injured patients and identified their age distribution. These injuries are associated with young adults and falls of high kinetic energy.

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Carlos E. Restrepo and Robert J. Spinner

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Andrés A. Maldonado and Robert J. Spinner

Spinal accessory nerve (SAN) injury results in loss of motor function of the trapezius muscle and leads to severe shoulder problems. Primary end-to-end or graft repair is usually the standard treatment. The authors present 2 patients who presented late (8 and 10 months) after their SAN injuries, in whom a lateral pectoral nerve transfer to the SAN was performed successfully using a supraclavicular approach.

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Robert J. Spinner, John L. D. Atkinson and Robert L. Tiel

Object. Based on a large multicenter experience and a review of the literature, the authors propose a unifying theory to explain an articular origin of peroneal intraneural ganglia. They believe that this unifying theory explains certain intriguing, but poorly understood findings in the literature, including the proximity of the cyst to the joint, the unusual preferential deep peroneal nerve (DPN) deficit, the absence of a pure superficial peroneal nerve (SPN) involvement, the finding of a pedicle in 40% of cases, and the high (10–20%) recurrence rate.

Methods. The authors believe that peroneal intraneural lesions are derived from the superior tibiofibular joint and communicate from it via a one-way valve. Given access to the articular branch, the cyst typically dissects proximally by the path of least resistance within the epineurium and up the DPN and the DPN component of the common peroneal nerve (CPN) before compressing nearby SPN fascicles. The authors present objective evidence based on anatomical, clinical, imaging, operative, and histological data that support this unifying theory.

Conclusions. The predictable clinical presentation, electrical studies, imaging characteristics, operative observations, and histological findings regarding peroneal intraneural ganglia can be understood in terms of their origin from the superior tibiofibular joint, the anatomy of the articular branch, and the internal topography of the peroneal nerve that the cyst invades. Understanding the controversial pathogenesis of these cysts will enable surgeons to perform operations based on the pathoanatomy of the articular branch of the CPN and the superior tibiofibular joint, which will ultimately improve clinical results.

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Robert J. Spinner, Robert L. Tiel and David G. Kline

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Huan Wang, Robert J. Spinner and Anthony J. Windebank

Object

Contralateral C-7 nerve transfer has been used clinically for more than 20 years. The increased interest in studies of transfer effectiveness at different target muscles, posttransfer cocontraction, and brain plasticity has prompted the need for an animal model. In addition to the conventional electrophysiological, histomorphometric, and biomechanical evaluation modalities, quantitative functional and behavioral evaluation will be crucial in applying this kind of model. The aim of this study was to establish a C-7 transection animal model and quantify the changes in upper-limb joint movement and muscle power.

Methods

A C-7 nerve transection model was created in Sprague-Dawley rats, the brachial plexus of which resembles the human brachial plexus. The impact of C-7 transection on donor limb function—namely, strength, movement, and coordination—was evaluated in 6 rats. Muscle strength (power reported in g) was measured as a grasping task. The active range of motion (ROM; angle reported in °) of the elbow, wrist, and metacarpophalangeal joints was quantified by computerized video motion analysis. Antiresistance coordinated movement (speed reported in seconds) was assessed by the vertical rope-climbing test. These tests were carried out before surgery and at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 21, and 28 days after C-7 transection. Repeated-measures 1-way analysis of variance was applied for statistical analysis. When the overall probability value was < 0.05, the Dunnett multiple-comparison posttest was used to compare postoperative values with preoperative baseline values.

Results

Immediately after C-7 transection, the mean ± SD grip strength declined from 378.50 ± 20.55 g to 297.77 ± 15.04 g. Active elbow extension was impaired, as shown by a significant decrease of the elbow extension angle. The speed of vertical rope climbing was also reduced. Elbow flexion, wrist flexion and extension, and metacarpophalangeal joint flexion and extension were not impaired. Fast recovery of motor function was observed thereafter. Grip strength, range of active elbow extension, and speed of rope climbing returned to baseline values at postoperative Days 4, 8, and 8, respectively.

Conclusions

The ROM and muscle strength of the upper limb in rats can be measured quantitatively in studies that simulate clinical situations. Application of these functional evaluation modalities in a C-7 nerve transection rat model confirmed that transection of C-7 causes only temporary functional dysfunction to the donor limb. The results obtained in this animal model mimic those seen in humans who undergo contralateral C-7 nerve harvesting.

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Robert J. Spinner, Najeeb M. Thomas and David G. Kline

✓ Diagnosis of piriformis syndrome is difficult and its precise definition is highly controversial. In this article, the authors present the case of a patient who had clinical features suggestive of piriformis syndrome. During surgery the patient was found to have a rare variation in anatomical structures, in which the peroneal nerve was displaced by the piriformis muscle. Surgical decompression did not alleviate the patient's symptoms.

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Robert J. Spinner, Jay U. Howington and David G. Kline

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Robert J. Spinner, Bernd W. Scheithauer and Kimberly K. Amrami

✓ The authors describe the case of a patient with a novel cause of medial plantar symptoms due to extrinsic compression by a schwannoma arising within the adventitia of the tibial artery in the ankle region. Additionally they provide the operative, histological, and imaging findings.