Flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) transfer to the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRB) and/or the extensor carpi radialis longus (ECRU has been commonly used to provide wrist extension. The ability of this wrist extension transfer to also provide forearm supination has been inferred but not formally investigated. This laboratory study investigated the forearm supination effect of FCU transfer to the ECRB and to the ECRL in a cadaveric model. Two vectors of pull were investigated: freeing either the distal one third or the distal two thirds of the FCU ulnar origin. Five fresh-frozen, above-elbow, nonmatched cadaveric specimens placed in a mounting device that allowed the arm to rotate about its ulnar axis starting from a full pronated position were measured for resultant supination after tendon transfer and loading. This study showed that the transfer of the FCU into either the ECRB or the ECRL resulted in no significant difference in maximum supination. The vector of origin, however, did significantly affect the maximum supination obtained. Releasing the distal two thirds of the FCU ulnar origin resulted in a mean supination that was significantly greater than the mean supination achieved with releasing the distal one third of the FCU ulnar origin. We concluded that in the cadaveric model, transfer of the FCU into either the ECRB or ECRL provided similar resultant supination and that freeing the distal two thirds of the FCU ulnar origin provided significantly more supination than freeing only the distal one third. For the hand surgeon treating wrist flexion in combination with forearm pronation deformity, transfer of the FCU into the ECRB and/or the ECRL can be used to concomitantly provide wrist extension and forearm supination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine