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Result of modified Outerbridge-Kashiwagi procedure for elbow flexion contractures in brachial plexus birth injury

Price, Andrew E; Chim, Harvey; Valencia, Herbert; Grossman, John A I
We report the results of ten consecutive patients who had correction of an elbow flexion contracture of greater than 30° in brachial plexus birth injury using a modified Outerbridge-Kashiwagi procedure. All patients had minimum 23-month follow-up. Pre- and post-operative elbow range of motion and DASH scores were recorded in all patients. The operative technique for the procedure and post-operative course is discussed. Surgery was supplemented by botulinum toxin injection into the biceps brachii muscle in most cases. The average age at surgery was 14 years 10 months. The initial plexus lesion was global in eight patients and upper in two. Pre-operative flexion contractures averaged 51° (range 35 to 60) and post-operative averaged 21° (range 15 to 30). Of these patients, one had no change in active flexion, four had loss of active flexion, and five had gain of active flexion. All ten patients were satisfied with their results and stated that they would recommend the procedure to other patients. Level of evidence: IV.
PMID: 30200797
ISSN: 2043-6289
CID: 3703582

The Use of Botulinum Toxin Injection for Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Buchanan, Patrick J; Grossman, John A I; Price, Andrew E; Reddy, Chandan; Chopan, Mustafa; Chim, Harvey
BACKGROUND:Most brachial plexus birth injuries (BPBI) are caused by traction on the brachial plexus during a difficult delivery. Fortunately, the possibility of complete recovery from such an incident is relatively high, with only 10% to 30% of patients having prolonged and persistent disability. These patients have muscle imbalances and co-contractions typically localized around the shoulder and elbow. These imbalances and co-contractures cause abnormal motor performances and bone/joint deformities. Typically, physical/occupational therapies are the conventional therapeutic modalities but are often times inadequate. Botulinum toxin A (BTX-A) injections into targeted muscles have been used to combat the muscular imbalances and co-contractions. METHODS:With compliance to PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was performed to identify studies published between 2000 and 2017 that used BTX-A to treat neonatal brachial plexus palsies. RESULTS:Ten studies were included, involving 325 patients. Three groups of indications for the use of BTX-A were identified: (1) internal rotation/adduction contracture of the shoulder; (2) elbow flexion lag/elbow extension lag; and (3) forearm pronation contracture. CONCLUSIONS:The included studies show an overall beneficial effect of BTX-A in treating co-contractures seen in patients with BPBI. Specifically, BTX-A is shown to reduce internal rotation/adduction contractures of the shoulder, elbow flexion/extension contractures, and forearm pronation contractures. These beneficial effects are blunted when used in older patients. Nevertheless, BTX-A is a useful treatment for BPBI with a relatively low-risk profile.
PMID: 29529875
ISSN: 1558-9455
CID: 3040712

Complications in Surgery for Brachial Plexus Birth Injury: Avoidance and Treatment

Grossman, John A I; Price, Andrew; Chim, Harvey
Brachial plexus birth injuries are rare, with treatment and follow-up often required from infancy until skeletal maturity. We review complications that may occur related to primary nerve surgery or secondary musculoskeletal procedures, and discuss how these may be avoided.
PMID: 29421066
ISSN: 1531-6564
CID: 2947852

Modified Outerbridge-Kashiwagi procedure for significant elbow flexion contractures in brachial plexus birth palsy [Meeting Abstract]

Price, A; Valencia, H; Grossman, J
Background and Objective(s): Patients with brachial plexus birth palsy may develop significant elbow flexion contractures greater than 30 degrees that limit function and present issues with body image. In later childhood, serial casting is ineffective due to permanent bony changes in the elbow joint. This paper reports a permanent and effective treatment of elbow flexion contractures in adolescent patients utilizing distal humeral arthrolysis along with radical anterior release, a modified Outerbridge-Kashiwagi procedure. The operative technique for the procedure and postop course is discussed. Study Design: The paper reports the results of the 12 consecutive patients who had correction of an elbow flexion contracture of greater than 30 degrees using a modified Outerbridge- Kashiwagi procedure. All patients had minimum 1 year follow- up, ranging from 14 months to 5 years. Pre and postoperative elbow range of motion were measured with a goniometer. 10 of the 12 patients also had pre- and postoperative DASH scores. At the last followup, patients were asked if they were satisfied with the operation and would they recommend it to others. The operative technique for the procedure and postop course is discussed. Study Participants & Setting: The group consisted of 6 males and 6 females who presented to our Brachial Plexus Program. The average age at surgery was 14 years 8 months, ranging from 11 years 11 months to 17 years 6 months. The initial plexus lesion was global in 10 patients and Erb's palsy in 2. Materials/Methods: Each patient had operative correction of their flexion contracture, utilizing a modified distal humeral arthrolysis, combined with an anterior approach that consisted of soft tissue release and median nerve neurolysis. Post-operatively, the patients were immobilized in a well padded plaster cast in gravity extension for 2 weeks. Then each had serial casting for 4 weeks using a long arm drop out casting technique. Patients were instructed in home exercise program, consisting of range of motion and strengthening exercises. Night splinting in full extension was recommended for a year. Results: Pre-operative flexion contractures averaged 49.6 degrees (-35 to -60). Post-operative flexion contractures averaged -21.1 degrees (-15 to -27). Average pre-op active elbow flexion was 130.8 degrees (130 to 150). Average post-op active flexion was 124.2 (90 to 140). Of these patients, 4 had no change in active flexion, 4 had loss of flexion, and 4 had gain of some flexion. All twelve patients were pleased with their results and stated that they would recommend the procedure. Of the 10 patients with recorded DASH scores, the average pre-op was 37.4, and the average post-op was 13.7. No patient showed a worse post-operative DASH score. All twelve patients were satisfied with their result and would recommend it to other patients. Conclusions/Significance: These are the preliminary results of a novel approach to significant problem of form and body image referable to the elbow. The modified Outerbridge- Kashiwagi procedure, as developed by the authors, provided significant, permanent gains in elbow extension
ISSN: 1469-8749
CID: 2454452

Lower extremity nerve trauma

Immerman, Igor; Price, Andrew E; Alfonso, Israel; Grossman, John A I
Peripheral nerve injuries of the lower extremity (LE) are frequently encountered in orthopaedic practice. They can be traumatic or iatrogenic. Proper and timely diagnosis and treatment are the keys to optimizing outcomes. This paper reviews and discusses the basic anatomy and physiology of nerve injury and the current literature on the incidence, pathogenesis, diagnosis, management and outcomes of sciatic, femoral, peroneal, and tibial nerve injuries. The purpose of this review is to suggest a protocol for evaluation and management of LE nerve injuries.
PMID: 25150326
ISSN: 2328-4633
CID: 1475752

Reoperation for failed shoulder reconstruction following brachial plexus birth injury

Price, Andrew E; Fajardo, Marc; Grossman, John Ai
BACKGROUND: Various approaches have been developed to treat the progressive shoulder deformity in patients with brachial plexus birth palsy. Reconstructive surgery for this condition consists of complex procedures with a risk for failure. CASE PRESENTATIONS: This is a retrospective case review of the outcome in eight cases referred to us for reoperation for failed shoulder reconstructions. In each case, we describe the initial attempt(s) at surgical correction, the underlying causes of failure, and the procedures performed to rectify the problem. Results were assessed using pre- and post-operative Mallet shoulder scores. All eight patients realized improvement in shoulder function from reoperation. CONCLUSIONS: This case review identifies several aspects of reconstructive shoulder surgery for brachial plexus birth injury that may cause failure of the index procedure(s) and outlines critical steps in the evaluation and execution of shoulder reconstruction.
PMID: 23883413
ISSN: 1749-7221
CID: 494922

Subscapularis slide correction of the shoulder internal rotation contracture after brachial plexus birth injury: technique and outcomes

Immerman, Igor; Valencia, Herbert; Ditaranto, Patricia; Delsole, Edward M; Glait, Sergio; Price, Andrew E; Grossman, John A I
Internal rotation contracture is the most common shoulder deformity in patients with brachial plexus birth injury. The purpose of this investigation is to describe the indications, technique, and results of the subscapularis slide procedure. The technique involves the release of the subscapularis muscle origin off the scapula, with preservation of anterior shoulder structures. A standard postoperative protocol is used in all patients and includes a modified shoulder spica with the shoulder held in 60 degrees of external rotation and 30 degrees of abduction, aggressive occupational and physical therapy, and subsequent shoulder manipulation under anesthesia with botulinum toxin injections as needed. Seventy-one patients at 2 institutions treated with subscapularis slide between 1997 and 2010, with minimum follow-up of 39.2 months, were identified. Patients were divided into 5 groups based on the index procedure performed: subscapularis slide alone (group 1); subscapularis slide with a simultaneous microsurgical reconstruction (group 2); primary microsurgical brachial plexus reconstruction followed later by a subscapularis slide (group 3); primary microsurgical brachial plexus reconstruction followed later by a subscapularis slide combined with tendon transfers for shoulder external rotation (group 4); and subscapularis slide with simultaneous tendon transfers, with no prior brachial plexus surgery (group 5). Full passive external rotation equivalent to the contralateral side was achieved in the operating room in all cases. No cases resulted in anterior instability or internal rotation deficit. Internal rotation contracture of the shoulder after brachial plexus birth injury can be effectively managed with the technique of subscapularis slide.
PMID: 23423238
ISSN: 1089-3393
CID: 223282

Outcome after tendon transfers to restore wrist extension in children with brachial plexus birth injuries

Ruchelsman, David E; Ramos, Lorna E; Price, Andrew E; Grossman, Leslie Agatha; Valencia, Herbert; Grossman, John A I
Children with brachial plexus birth injuries often require tendon transfer to restore active wrist extension and maximize hand function. The purpose of this study is to assess the clinical results in children with brachial plexus birth injuries after tendon transfer to reconstruct active wrist extension. Over a 10-year period, 21 children (11 male, 10 female) underwent tendon transfer to reconstruct active wrist extension by a single surgeon. Eight patients had C5/C6/C7 injury and 13 patients had global palsy (C5-T1). The average age at surgery was 5.5 years (range, 3 to 8 y). Restoration of wrist extension was measured according to the functional scale of Duclos and Gilbert. The mean duration of follow-up was 36 months (minimum follow-up of 1 y). At latest follow-up, 14 (66%) children (C5/C6/C7, n=8; global, n=6) demonstrated active wrist extension >/=30 degrees. Within the global injury subcohort, 3 patients demonstrated static extension of the wrist. Four failures occurred in the global palsy group. Children with absent active wrist extension after a brachial plexus birth injury can benefit from a tendon transfer. The more severe global palsy cases have a worse outcome
PMID: 21572285
ISSN: 1539-2570
CID: 132591

Hypoplasia of the trapezius and history of ipsilateral transient neonatal brachial plexus palsy

Min, William; Price, Andrew E; Alfonso, Israel; Ramos, Lorna; Grossman, John A I
We present two children with hypoplasia of the left trapezius muscle and a history of ipsilateral transient neonatal brachial plexus palsy without documented trapezius weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging in these patients with unilateral left hypoplasia of the trapezius revealed decreased muscles in the left side of the neck and left supraclavicular region on coronal views, decreased muscle mass between the left splenius capitis muscle and the subcutaneous tissue at the level of the neck on axial views, and decreased size of the left paraspinal region on sagittal views. Three possibilities can explain the association of hypoplasia of the trapezius and obstetric brachial plexus palsy: increased vulnerability of the brachial plexus to stretch injury during delivery because of intrauterine trapezius weakness, a casual association of these two conditions, or an erroneous diagnosis of brachial plexus palsy in patients with trapezial weakness. Careful documentation of neck and shoulder movements can distinguish among shoulder weakness because of trapezius hypoplasia, brachial plexus palsy, or brachial plexus palsy with trapezius hypoplasia. Hence, we recommend precise documentation of neck movements in the initial description of patients with suspected neonatal brachial plexus palsy
PMID: 21310341
ISSN: 1873-5150
CID: 123210

Glenohumeral deformity in children with brachial plexus birth injuries

Ruchelsman, David E; Grossman, John A I; Price, Andrew E
Shoulder deformity remains the most common musculo-skeletal sequela following a brachial plexus birth injury. The natural history of untreated glenohumeral deformity is one of progression in this unique patient population. In infants and young children with persistent neurological deficits, shoulder dysfunction becomes a major source of morbidity, as these children have extreme difficulty placing the hand in space. The functional limitations due to muscle denervation and the resultant periarticular soft tissue contractures and progressive osseous deformities have been well-characterized. Increasing attention is being given to the glenohumeral dysplasia (GHD) and the associated prevalence of early posterior dislocation of the shoulder in infants with brachial plexus birth injuries. GHD represents a spectrum of findings, including glenoid and humeral head articular incongruities and dysplasia, subluxation, and frank dislocation. This article presents our comprehensive, temporally-based management strategies for the glenohumeral joint deformities in these children utilizing soft tissue and bony reconstructive procedures
PMID: 21332437
ISSN: 1936-9727
CID: 128794