Complications and outcomes of functional free gracilis transfer in brachial plexus palsy

Julie E. Adams, Michelle F. Kircher, Robert J. Spinner, Michael E. Torchia, Allen Thorp Bishop, Alexander Yong-Shik Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes and complications following free functional gracilis transfer for restoration of elbow flexion and/or finger flexion in patients with acute or chronic brachial plexus injuries. A review of 130 free functioning gracilis muscles transferred for brachial plexus injuries was undertaken to evaluate the failure rate as well as late complications. The overall failure rate (defined as a non-function muscle or one that failed acutely) was 15.4%. The most common late complication was fracture of the clavicle (5.4%). A technical modification of the procedure resulted in a decrease in these complications from a early rate of 7.9% graft failures and 7.9% clavicle fractures to a 2.4% (n = 1) failure rate and zero clavicle fractures in the subsequent 41 consecutive cases. Observations made in this series lead to a technique change, which has thus far resulted in no clavicle fractures, no bowstringing, improved graft viability and function, and a statistically significant decrease in overall complications (p < 0.001) associated with use of functioning free gracilis transfer in brachial plexus reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalActa Orthopaedica Belgica
Volume75
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Fingerprint

Clavicle
Brachial Plexus
Paralysis
Arm Injuries
Transplants
Elbow
Fingers
Muscles

Keywords

  • Brachial plexus
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Free functional gracilis transfer
  • Free functioning muscle transfer
  • Gracilis transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Complications and outcomes of functional free gracilis transfer in brachial plexus palsy. / Adams, Julie E.; Kircher, Michelle F.; Spinner, Robert J.; Torchia, Michael E.; Bishop, Allen Thorp; Shin, Alexander Yong-Shik.

In: Acta Orthopaedica Belgica, Vol. 75, No. 1, 02.2009, p. 8-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adams, Julie E. ; Kircher, Michelle F. ; Spinner, Robert J. ; Torchia, Michael E. ; Bishop, Allen Thorp ; Shin, Alexander Yong-Shik. / Complications and outcomes of functional free gracilis transfer in brachial plexus palsy. In: Acta Orthopaedica Belgica. 2009 ; Vol. 75, No. 1. pp. 8-13.
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