Epidemiology of Traumatic Peripheral Nerve Injuries Evaluated with Electrodiagnostic Studies in a Tertiary Care Hospital Clinic

Gerardo E. Miranda, Ruben Y. Torres


Objective: To describe the etiologies and frequency of traumatic peripheral nerve injury (TPNI) seen in the electrodiagnostic laboratory of a tertiary care hospital in Puerto Rico. Methods: The charts of patients who underwent an electrodiagnostic study for a TPNI were revised. The main outcome measure was the frequency of each injury by anatomic location, specific nerve or nerves affected, injury mechanism, and injury severity. Results: One hundred forty-six charts were included, and in them were listed a total of 163 nerve injuries; 109 (74.7%) cases were men and 37 (25.3%) were women. The mean age was 33.6 years. The facial nerve, the brachial plexus, and the ulnar nerve were more frequently injured than any other nerve or nerve bundle. The ulnar, sciatic, median, and radial nerves and the lumbosacral plexus were more commonly injured as a result of gunshot wounds than of any other mechanism of injury. The brachial plexus was most frequently injured in motor vehicle accidents and the facial nerve injuries most commonly had an iatrogenic cause. In terms of injury severity, 84.2% were incomplete and 15.8% were complete. Conclusion: TPNIs are common in young individuals and potentially can lead to significant disability. Further studies are needed to assess the socioeconomic impact of these injuries on our population.


nerve injury, trauma, electrodiagnosis

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