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ME Puhaindran, HP Wong
Correspondence: Wong Ho Poh, Ho_Poh_Wong@ttsh.com.sg
Palsies involving the anterior interosseous nerve comprise less than 1% of all upper extremity nerve palsies. Patients often present initially with acute pain in the proximal forearm, lasting several hours to days. The pain subsides, to be followed by paresis or total paralysis of the pronator quadratus, flexor pollicis longus and the radial half of the flexor profundus, either individually or together. Patients with a complete lesion will have a characteristic pinch deformity. We report a case of anterior interosseous syndrome in a 42-year-old male. The patient was admitted initially for chronic osteomyelitis of the left calcaneum. He had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line inserted into a brachial vein for the administration of intravenous antibiotics, and developed anterior interosseous nerve palsy as a complication of this procedure. The catheter was subsequently removed and a new line was placed on the other side, and his neurological deficit has been improving since. This case highlights the potential hazards of venupuncture or arterial puncture of the brachial vein or artery respectively, even under controlled conditions with the benefit of ultrasound guidance. It also serves as a reminder to look out for the complications of these common procedures, and to be able to react appropriately when they arise.
Keywords: anterior interosseous nerve palsy, anterior interosseous nerve syndrome, complication, PICC line
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(12): 653-654