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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2011 August;24(4):213-4

language: English

Late ulnar neuropathy due to compression from traumatic synovial cyst: Case report and review

Alimehmeti R. 1, Seferi A. 1, Crotti F. 2

1 Service of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Center “Mother Theresa” Tirana, Albania
2 Neurosurgical Clinic, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy


A late complication from elbow trauma, such as synovial cyst, may produce ulnar entrapment neuropathy. It is described in rheumatoid arthritis but it may very rarely complicate elbow trauma. A rare case of severe ulnar entrapment neuropathy is reported. The onset of ulnar palsy had occurred fifteen years after elbow dislocation. Within three weeks from the onset of pain there was a rapid deterioration in claw hand and muscle atrophy. Surgical resolution of the synovial cyst, neurolysis and nerve transfer yielded a complete clinical and neurophysiologic recovery of the ulnar nerve at the one year follow-up. Ulnar entrapment neuropathy due to a traumatic synovial cyst is a rare event, occurring even fifteen years after trauma, yet when timely surgical decompression, neurolysis, and nerve transfer is performed there can be satisfactory nerve recovery.

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