Tendon Transfers for Radial Nerve Palsy

  • Gráinne Bourke
  • Andrew Williams


  • Radial nerve palsy causes loss of wrist, finger, and thumb extension as well as loss of supination with the arm extended. This leads to a lack of grip strength. The sensory impairment is usually confined to the snuff box or dorsal aspect of the first web space.

  • The tendons affected in radial nerve palsy:
    • Extensor carpi radialis longus

    • Extensor carpi radialis brevis

    • Brachioradialis

    • Supinator

    • Extensor digitorum communis

    • Extensor pollicis longus

    • Abductor pollicis longus

  • The tendons affected in posterior interosseous nerve palsy:
    • Extensor digitorum communis

    • Extensor pollicis longus

    • Abductor pollicis longus


Radial Nerve Tendon Transfer Flexor Digitorum Superficialis Extensor Digitorum Communis Interosseous Membrane 
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Further Reading

  1. Boyes JH. Tendon transfers for radial nerve palsy. Bull Hosp Jt Dis. 1960;21:97.Google Scholar
  2. Green DP, Hotchkiss RN, Pederson WC, Wolfe SW. Green’s operative hand surgery. 5th ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 2005.Google Scholar
  3. Skoll PJ, Hudson DA, de Jager W, Singer M. Longterm results of tendon transfers for radial nerve palsy on patients with limited rehabilitation. Ann Plast Surg. 2000;45:122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plastic and Reconstructive SurgeryLeeds Teaching Hospitals NHS TrustLeedsUK

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