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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 241968, 3 pages
Case Report

Secondary Radial Nerve Palsy after Minimally Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis of a Distal Humeral Shaft Fracture

1Clinic of Cardiovascular Surgery, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2Sonnenhof Orthopaedic Centre, Orthopädie Sonnenhof, Buchserstrasse 30, 3006 Bern, Switzerland

Received 4 September 2015; Revised 27 September 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Nikolaos K. Kanakaris

Copyright © 2015 Ursina Bichsel and Richard Walter Nyffeler. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis is a widely used procedure for the treatment of fractures of the femur and the tibia. For a short time it is also used for the treatment of humeral shaft fractures. Among other advantages, the ambassadors of this technique emphasize the lower risk of nerve injuries when compared to open reduction and internal fixation. We report the case of secondary radial nerve palsy caused by percutaneous fixation of a plate above the antecubital fold. The nerve did not recover and the patient needed a tendon transfer to regain active extension of the fingers. This case points to the importance of adequate exposure of the bone and plate if a humeral shaft fracture extends far distally.