Failed Targeted Muscle Reinnervation: Findings at Revision Surgery and Concepts for Success

John M. Felder, Stahs Pripotnev, Ivica Ducic, Rachel Skladman, Austin Y. Ha, Mitchell A. Pet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Although it was initially described for improved myoelectric control, targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) has quickly gained popularity as a technique for neuroma control. With this rapid increase in utilization has come broadening indications and variability in the described technique. As a result, it becomes difficult to interpret published outcomes. Furthermore, there is no literature discussing the management of failed cases which are undoubtedly occurring. Methods: This is a retrospective case series of two patients who underwent revision surgery for failed TMR. The authors also review the current literature on TMR and outline technical and conceptual pitfalls and pearls based on our local experience. Results: Excessive donor nerve redundancy, kinking, donor-recipient nerve size mismatch, superficial placement of the nerve coaptation, inappropriate target selection, and incomplete target muscle denervation were identified as technical pitfalls of TMR surgery. Techniques to avoid these pitfalls were described. Conclusions: Although TMR has been a major development in amputee care for both pain management and improved myoelectric control, it is important to acknowledge that it is not a foolproof surgery and does not provide a guaranteed result. Failed cases of TMR represent opportunities to learn about factors contributing to unfavorable outcomes and refine our techniques empirically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E4229
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 6 2022


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