An alternative method for restoring opposition after median nerve injury: an anatomical feasibility study for the use of neurotisation

Ustun M., Ogun T., Karabulut A., Buyukmumcu M.

JOURNAL OF ANATOMY, vol.198, pp.635-638, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 198
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1046/j.1469-7580.2001.19850635.x
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF ANATOMY
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.635-638
  • Keywords: median nerve injury, neurotisation, anterior interosseous nerve, OPPONENSPLASTY
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: No


Opposition, one of the most important functions of the hand, is lost or impaired after median nerve injury. Complete recovery does not always occur after treatment, and various techniques of opponensplasty are used for restoring opposition. This study was performed in order to develop an alternative method for selective restoration of thenar muscle function. Ten arms from 5 cadavers were used. The median nerve with its thenar motor branch (Tb) and the anterior interosseous nerve with its motor branch to pronator quadratus (PQb) were prepared in the distal forearm. The mean widths and the number of myelinated fibres of these nerves were: PQb 1.3 +/- 0.10 mm, Tb 1.4 +/- 0.12 mm and PQb 912 +/- 88 mm, Tb 1020 +/- 93 mm. The minimum necessary distance from the distal flexor crease of the wrist for neurotisation of the Tb by the PQb was 60 +/- 5.41 mm. It was concluded that PQb-Tb neurotisation would be possible anatomically. The advantages are that motor function is reestablished with a motor nerve, the diameters and the number of myelinated fibres of both nerves are similar, the loss of function after denervation of the pronator quadratus is slight and opponensplasty still remains as a final option.