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Stay Out of Trouble in Elbow Surgery. Part I: Radial Nerve.

January 01, 2012

Contributors: Alessandra Tellini, MD; Nicola Barbasetti Di Prun, MD; Enrico Bellato, MD; Davide E Bonasia, MD; Roberto Rossi, MD; Marco Assom, MD; Filippo Castoldi, MD; Davide Blonna, MD; Davide Blonna, MD

Peer review has expired on this program. It is the viewer’s responsibility to determine the educational value of this historical content.
Peer review has expired on this program. It is the viewer’s responsibility to determine the educational value of this historical content.

For several reasons, the elbow is a joint that the young surgeon might prefer to avoid in performing surgery, but principally because he or she lacks knowledge of the surgical anatomy of the elbow. This lack of knowledge can have dangerous consequences considering that, in the elbow, at least one of the three major nerves is always close to the surgical site, giving rise to a risk of transection. The radial nerve is probably the nerve that the surgeon fears most, either for the high rate of radial nerve injuries reported in the literature or for the severity of the functional impairment resulting from them. The aim of this educational video is to review the surgical anatomy of the elbow with particular emphasis on tips and tricks to avoid radial nerve injuries. We will provide real examples in which the radial nerve is potentially at risk, and we will support our examples with cadaver specimens and drawings. Using this combined approach, we will discuss distal humeral fracture, surgeries at the proximal part of the radius, and elbow arthroscopy.

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