Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39--46

Modified trapezius transfer technique for restoration of shoulder abduction in brachial plexus injury

Post Graduate Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, King George Medical University, Lucknow - 226 001, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Durga Karki
Flat. No. 210, Kasmanda Apartments, 2 Park Road, Hazratganj, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0358.32662

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Aims and Objectives: Shoulder stability and restoration are very important in providing greater range of motion to the arm and forearm. When brachial plexus repair does not have the desired outcome and in patients with long standing denervation, the trapezius muscle is frequently used for transfer to restore the shoulder abduction and external rotation. We propose a modified simple technique for trapezius muscle transfer. Materials and Methods: From February 2004 to February 2006, eight patients with posttraumatic brachial plexus injury with insufficient shoulder abduction were treated by trapezius muscle transfer. All patients with brachial plexus palsy were posttraumatic, often resulted from motor cycle accidents. Before operation a full evaluation of muscle function in the affected arm was carried out. All patients were treated with trapezius muscle transfer performed by the modified technique. S-shaped incision from the anterior border of the trapezius just above the clavicle to the Deltoid up to its insertion was made. The accessory nerve and its branches to the trapezius were secured. The trapezius was dissected and detached from its insertion along with the periosteum and sutured to the insertion of the Deltoid muscle. Results: All patients had improved functions and were satisfied with the outcome. The average increase in active abduction of shoulder was from 13.7 degrees (0 to 35 degrees) preoperatively to 116 degrees (45 to 180 degrees) postoperatively and of shoulder flexion from 24.3 degrees (15 to 30 degrees) to 107 degrees (90 to 180 degrees). Conclusion: The modified technique proposed here for trapezius transfer is safe, convenient, simple and reliable for restoration of shoulder abduction and stability with clear subjective benefits.


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