Comparison of Patient Satisfaction of Return to Work in Early Post-operative Periods in Patients with High Radial Nerve Injury Undergoing Primary Nerve Repair Plus Tendon Transfer Versus Primary Nerve Repair Alone

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Author(s): Owais Ahmed,1 Mirza Shehab Afzal Beg,2 Mehtab Ahmed,3 Manal Nasir,4 Mohammad Muneeb ullah Siddique5

Received: 10/07/2021 | Published: 13/08/2021 | Pages: 43-48 |

Complete nerve recovery can take 2 years or more if repaired primarily /grafted, with poorer results in proximal and extensive crush injuries. After tendon transfer, (usually done in the setting of irreparable nerve injury, inadequate functional recovery after repair, or late presentation), full activity can be resumed at 12 weeks. Our objective was to compare early return of work satisfaction level in patients with high radial nerve injury undergoing early tendon transfer combined with nerve repair, with patients undergoing nerve repair alone. Methods: This was a non-randomized controlled trial conducted over a 2–year period (August 2017 to August 2019). All patients with high radial nerve injury, presenting within 1 year were included and divided into 2 groups. Group 1had nerve repair with tendon transfer and group 2had nerve repair alone. Postoperative follow-up was done at 6 and 12 weeks. Active range of motion was assessed and graded as excellent, good, fair or poor Results: A total of 33 patients participated in the study. There were 16 patients in group 1 and 17 in group 2. The majority of patients were manual workers. At 12th week, all patients in group 1 were satisfied with the functional improvement and were able to continue their previous job. While in group 2 no improvement in function was noted in all the patients and the majority (88%) were not satisfied with recovery time and wanted to be splint-free. All the manual workers in this group expressed the desire to go back to work early. Conclusion: Early tendon transfer at the time of nerve exploration and repair is highly beneficial and rewarding for patients, especially manual workers in terms of gain of function, return to work, and their satisfaction in performing daily activities