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This paper reports the results of treatment of 17 patients with fractures of the shaft of the humerus accompanied by paralysis of the radial nerve in a series of 111 patients with fractures of the shaft of the humerus.
In early operative explorations in 14 cases the radial nerve appeared undamaged in 13 cases. In cases where spontaneous recovery of the function of the radial nerve failed to occur, no evidence has been found that the delay in exploration influenced eventual motor recovery. The high incidence of undamaged nerves at exploration suggests that a conservative approach by collar and cuff or Sarmiento bracing is justified in such cases of fractures of the shaft of the humerus. Paralysis of the radial nerve associated with fractures of the shaft of the humerus is, in our opinion, not an indication for early operative treatment.
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Accepted: February 18, 1987
© 1987 Published by Elsevier Inc.