Compression neuropathies of the median nerve in the proximal forearm are unusual lesions. Many patients have vague symptoms for many months or even years prior to confirming the diagnosis of either pronator syndrome or anterior interosseous syndrome of the forearm. Serial examinations clinically and electrodiagnostically may be necessary at intervals of 6 to 8 weeks as required for the evaluation of the patient’s symptoms.
As with other compression neuropathies, the diagnosis is solely dependent on the diagnosis of neuropathy of the median nerve using whatever parameter satisfies the surgeon’s diagnostic criteria and then having made that diagnosis, localizing the site of that neuropathy by physical examination or electrodiagnosis with the support of radiographic techniques as appropriate. Surgical exploration of proximal median nerve compression is normally followed by prompt and predictable recovery from the median neuropathy and clinical symptoms between 8 and 12 weeks after surgical exploration.
Prolonged symptom complexes after surgical exploration of the proximal median nerve are, in my experience, due to either (1) extremely severe median nerve injury secondary to pronator syndrome with prolonged recovery and distal nerve axomnetic recovery into the hand, or (2) sensory nerve dysesthesis of the small sensory nerves on the proximal volar surface of the forearm. The symptoms of either of these postoperative findings normally improve with time. For more information, visit www.neuropaxclinic.com today.