1 Scopus citations


Background:After a radial nerve injury, patients must weigh a complicated set of advantages and disadvantages to observation or surgery. We conducted semistructured interviews to characterize the decision-making process that these patients undertake.Methods:We recruited participants who were treated with expectant management (nonoperatively), received only a tendon transfer, or received a nerve transfer. Participants completed a semistructured interview that was transcribed and coded to identify recurring themes, to describe the influence of qualitative findings on treatment decision-making.Results:We interviewed 15 participants (5 expectant management, 5 tendon transfer only, and 5 nerve transfer). Participants' primary concerns were returning to work, hand appearance, regaining motion, resuming activities of daily living, and enjoying hobbies. Delayed diagnosis and/or insurance coverage led 3 participants to change treatment from nerve transfer to isolated tendon transfer. Interactions with providers early in diagnosis and treatment had strong effects on how members of the care team were perceived. The hand therapist was the primary person who shaped expectations, provided encouragement, and prompted referral to the treating surgeon. Participants valued debate among the care team members regarding treatment, provided that medical terminology was explained.Conclusions:This study highlights the importance of initial, collaborative care in setting expectations for patients with radial nerve injuries. Many participants named returning to work and hand appearance as primary concerns. Hand therapists were the primary source of support and information during recovery.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-606
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series A
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Expectant Management, Tendon Transfer, or Nerve Transfer Surgery for Radial Nerve Injury: A Qualitative Study Exploring Patient Expectations, Goals, and Treatment Experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this