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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

Persistent Posterior Interosseous Nerve Palsy Associated with a Chronic Type I Monteggia Fracture-Dislocation in a Child: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Ruchelsman, David E; Pasqualetto, Michele; Price, Andrew E; Grossman, John A I
We present a rare case of persistent complete posterior interosseous nerve palsy associated with a chronic type I Monteggia elbow fracture-dislocation consisting of anterior dislocation of the radial head and malunion of the ulna in an 8-year-old child requiring surgical treatment. Posterior interosseous nerve neuropraxia following acute Monteggia injury patterns about the elbow has been described and is thought to be secondary to traction or direct trauma. The condition typically resolves following successful closed reduction of the radial head. This report describes combined treatment of the nerve and skeletal injury for the chronic type I Monteggia injury. The literature is reviewed, and diagnostic challenges with and treatment options for chronic Monteggia fracture-dislocations in children are discussed
PMID: 19052821
ISSN: 1558-9447
CID: 91483

Brachial plexus birth palsy: an overview of early treatment considerations

Ruchelsman, David E; Pettrone, Sarah; Price, Andrew E; Grossman, John A I
Since the description by Smellie in 1764, in a French midwifery text, that first suggested an obstetric origin for upper limb birth palsy, great strides have been made in both diagnosis and early and late treatment. This report presents an overview of selected aspects of this complex and extensive subject. Early treatment options are reviewed in the context of the present controversies regarding the natural history and the indications for and timing of microsurgical intervention in infants with brachial plexus birth injuries
PMID: 19302062
ISSN: 1936-9719
CID: 99290

Cortical dysplasia and obstetrical brachial plexus palsy [Case Report]

Alfonso, Israel; Alfonso, Daniel T; Price, Andrew E; Grossman, John A I
We report 2 patients with obstetrical brachial plexus palsy, ipsilateral leg weakness, and contralateral motor cortical dysplasia. To our knowledge, this is the first description of such an association. In both cases, the diagnosis of obstetrical brachial plexus palsy was established clinically shortly after birth and later confirmed neurophysiologically. Motor cortex dysplasia was diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The association of obstetrical brachial plexus palsy and contralateral motor cortex dysplasia, a condition known to produce congenital hemiparesis, raises the possibility that the cortical dysplasia was a predisposing factor for obstetrical brachial plexus palsy in these cases
PMID: 19073856
ISSN: 1708-8283
CID: 91482

Entrapment neuropathy contributing to dysfunction after brachial plexus birth injuries [Letter]

Price, Andrew E; Beric, Aleksandar; Yaylali, Ilker; Grossman, John A I
PMID: 17717479
ISSN: 0271-6798
CID: 95128

Botulinum toxin type A as an adjunct to the surgical treatment of the medial rotation deformity of the shoulder in birth injuries of the brachial plexus

Price, A E; Ditaranto, P; Yaylali, I; Tidwell, M A; Grossman, J A I
We retrospectively reviewed 26 patients who underwent reconstruction of the shoulder for a medial rotation contracture after birth injury of the brachial plexus. Of these, 13 patients with a mean age of 5.8 years (2.8 to 12.9) received an injection of botulinum toxin type A into the pectoralis major as a surgical adjunct. They were matched with 13 patients with a mean age of 4.0 years (1.9 to 7.2) who underwent an identical operation before the introduction of botulinum toxin therapy to our unit. Pre-operatively, there was no significant difference (p = 0.093) in the modified Gilbert shoulder scores for the two groups. Post-operatively, the patients who received the botulinum toxin had significantly better Gilbert shoulder scores (p = 0.012) at a mean follow-up of three years (1.5 to 9.8). It appears that botulinum toxin type A produces benefits which are sustained beyond the period for which the toxin is recognised to be active. We suggest that by temporarily weakening some of the power of medial rotation, afferent signals to the brain are reduced and cortical recruitment for the injured nerves is improved
PMID: 17356143
ISSN: 0301-620x
CID: 71310

Is arthroscopic release indicated? [Letter]

Price, Andrew E; Tidwell, Michael A; Grossman, John A I
PMID: 17272473
ISSN: 0021-9355
CID: 71307