Ulnar neuropathy after median sternotomy

C. D. Casscells, Ronald Lindsey, J. Ebersole, B. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ulnar neuropathy is a known complication of median sternotomy surgery, and its precise cause is not clear. The authors hypothesize that a 'double- crush' phenomenon caused by intraoperative compression of the brachial plexus occurs in a patient with preexisting, previously undiagnosed slowing of ulnar nerve conduction. Eighty-four arms in 42 patients scheduled for cardiac surgery were studied. Pre- and postoperative history and physical examinations were performed by separate blinded examiners; however, the nerve conduction studies were performed by a single examiner. Fifteen arms (18%) in 11 patients (26%) clinically demonstrated postoperative neuropathy. After surgery, all symptomatic patients had considerable slowing of their preoperative conduction studies. A direct correlation appears to exist between preoperative slowing of ulnar nerve conduction and postmedian sternotomy neuropathy. A careful preoperative evaluation including nerve conduction studies may detect the predisposed patient; the surgeon attempting postoperative cubital tunnel decompression is cautioned that the lesion may not be an isolated one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number291
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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Ulnar Neuropathies
Sternotomy
Neural Conduction
Ulnar Nerve
Brachial Plexus
Decompression
Thoracic Surgery
Physical Examination
History

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

Cite this

Casscells, C. D., Lindsey, R., Ebersole, J., & Li, B. (1993). Ulnar neuropathy after median sternotomy. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, (291), 259-265.

Ulnar neuropathy after median sternotomy. / Casscells, C. D.; Lindsey, Ronald; Ebersole, J.; Li, B.

In: Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, No. 291, 1993, p. 259-265.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Casscells, CD, Lindsey, R, Ebersole, J & Li, B 1993, 'Ulnar neuropathy after median sternotomy', Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, no. 291, pp. 259-265.
Casscells, C. D. ; Lindsey, Ronald ; Ebersole, J. ; Li, B. / Ulnar neuropathy after median sternotomy. In: Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 1993 ; No. 291. pp. 259-265.
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