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Journal Article

Citation

Engrav LH, Gottlieb JR, Walkinshaw MD, Heimbach DM, Trumble TE, Grube BJ. Ann. Plast. Surg. 1990; 25(3): 166-168.

Affiliation

Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.

Copyright

(Copyright © 1990, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

2173465

Abstract

Electrical injury to the upper extremity with immediate median and ulnar nerve palsy at the wrist is uncommon but devastating. When it does occur, the immediate clinical questions are (1) will the nerves recover, and (2) should the carpal tunnel and Guyon's canal be released? Our review of the literature did not answer these two questions. Therefore, we reviewed our experience with such patients and surveyed approximately 10% of the physician members of the American Burn Association. We reviewed approximately 80 patients with electrical injuries treated between January 1983 and September 1988, and found 5 patients (8 extremities) who did not require amputation and who manifested immediate palsy of the median and ulnar nerves at the wrist. The questionnaire was returned by 83% of those contacted. We concluded that such nerve palsies can recover to a significant degree and that a majority of surgeons would release the carpal tunnel and Guyon's canal, expecting improved recovery. Although it is still not proven whether decompression is beneficial, we will continue to decompress the carpal tunnel and Guyon's canal in such circumstances.


Language: en

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