Pronator teres syndrome

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Pronator teres syndrome
Classification and external resources
Specialty neurology
ICD-10 G56.0, G56.1
ICD-9-CM 354.0, 354.1

Pronator teres syndrome is a compression neuropathy of the median nerve at the elbow. It is rare compared to compression at the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) or isolated injury of the anterior interosseous branch of the median nerve (anterior interosseous syndrome).

Anatomy[edit]

The median nerve passes through the cubital fossa and passes between the two heads of pronator teres muscle into the forearm. It then runs between flexor digitorum superficialis and flexor digitorum profundus muscles and enters the hand through the carpal tunnel.[1]

It innervates most of the flexor muscles in the forearm and hand. Its sensory component supplies the skin of the palm, thumb, index and middle finger as well as half the ring finger, and the bones of the wrist.

In the proximal forearm it gives rise to the anterior interosseous nerve which innervates the flexor of the thumb (FPL), the flexor digitorum profundus of the index finger (FDP IF), and the pronator quadratus, and terminates in a sensory branch to the bones of the wrist, i.e., the carpal tunnel. Compression of the proximal median nerve results in weakness of these three muscles, and can cause aching pain in the wrist on the basis of the sensory nerve to the carpal bones.

Symptoms[edit]

Compression of the median nerve in the region of the elbow or proximal part of the forearm can cause pain and/or numbness in the distribution of the distal median nerve, and weakness of the muscles innervated by the anterior interosseous nerve: the flexor pollicis longus ("FPL"), the flexor digitorum profundus of the index finger ("FDP IF"), and the pronator quadratus ("PQ").[2][3]

Clinical signs[edit]

The characteristic physical finding is tenderness over the proximal median nerve, which is aggravated by resisted pronation of the forearm.[4][5]

The flexor pollicis longus and FDP of the index finger are weak, leading to impairment of the pincer movement. This reflects involvement of the anterior interosseous nerve.[6]

Sensory changes may be found in the first three fingers as well as in the palm, indicating impairment of the median nerve proximal to the flexor retinaculum.[7]

Causes[edit]

The most common cause is entrapment of the median nerve between the two heads of the pronator teres muscle. Other causes are compression of the nerve from the fibrous arch of the flexor superficialis, or the thickening of the bicipital aponeurosis.[8][9][10][11]

Diagnosis[edit]

The clinical and electrophysiological features of pronator teres syndrome are quite different from patients with carpal tunnel syndrome or pure anterior interosseous syndrome.[12] Proper localisation is crucial to treatment options.[13][14]

Conduction velocity of the median nerve in the proximal forearm may be slow but the distal latency and sensory nerve action potential at the wrist are normal.[15]

Although MRI may show denervation atrophy of the affected muscles, its role in the evaluation of pronator teres syndrome is unclear.[16]

If the EMG or the MRI are abnormal for the pronator teres muscle and the flexor carpi radialis, this implies that the problem is at or proximal to the elbow, as the takeoff of the nerves to these muscles occurs proximal to the elbow.

Treatment[edit]

Injection of corticosteroids into the pronator teres muscle may produce relief of symptoms, but a strong response to a steroid injection would be more consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome.[17]

Massage therapy can also provide relief for individuals experiencing this condition.[18]

Surgical decompression can provide benefit in selected cases.[19][20][21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fuss, FK, and GH Wurzl. "Median nerve entrapment. pronator teres syndrome." Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy 12, no. 4 (December 1, 1990): 267-271. doi:10.1007/BF01623702.
  2. ^ Hartz, C R, R L Linscheid, R R Gramse, and J R Daube. "The pronator teres syndrome: compressive neuropathy of the median nerve." The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 63, no. 6 (July 1981): 885-90. doi:7240329.
  3. ^ Wertsch, J J, and J Melvin. "Median nerve anatomy and entrapment syndromes: a review." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 63, no. 12 (December 1982): 623-7. doi:6756339.
  4. ^ Hartz, C R, R L Linscheid, R R Gramse, and J R Daube. "The pronator teres syndrome: compressive neuropathy of the median nerve." The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 63, no. 6 (July 1981): 885-90. doi:7240329.
  5. ^ Morris, H H, and B H Peters. "Pronator syndrome: clinical and electrophysiological features in seven cases." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 39, no. 5 (May 1976): 461-4. doi:PMC492308.
  6. ^ Wertsch, J J, and J Melvin. "Median nerve anatomy and entrapment syndromes: a review." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 63, no. 12 (December 1982): 623-7. doi:6756339.
  7. ^ Bridgeman, C, S Naidu, and M J Kothari. "Clinical and electrophysiological presentation of pronator syndrome." Electromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology 47, no. 2: 89-92. doi:17479724.
  8. ^ Johnson, R K, M Spinner, and M M Shrewsbury. "Median nerve entrapment syndrome in the proximal forearm." The Journal of Hand Surgery 4, no. 1 (January 1979): 48-51. doi:759503.
  9. ^ Farrell, H F. "Pain and the pronator teres syndrome." Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases 37, no. 1 (April 1976): 59-62. doi:974290.
  10. ^ Martinelli, P, A S Gabellini, M Poppi, R Gallassi, and E Pozzati. "Pronator syndrome due to thickened bicipital aponeurosis." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 45, no. 2 (February 1982): 181-2. doi:PMC1083053.
  11. ^ Fuss, FK, and GH Wurzl. "Median nerve entrapment. pronator teres syndrome." Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy 12, no. 4 (December 1, 1990): 267-271. doi:10.1007/BF01623702.
  12. ^ Johnson, R K, M Spinner, and M M Shrewsbury. "Median nerve entrapment syndrome in the proximal forearm." The Journal of Hand Surgery 4, no. 1 (January 1979): 48-51. doi:759503.
  13. ^ Wertsch, J J, and J Melvin. "Median nerve anatomy and entrapment syndromes: a review." Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 63, no. 12 (December 1982): 623-7. doi:6756339.
  14. ^ Bridgeman, C, S Naidu, and M J Kothari. "Clinical and electrophysiological presentation of pronator syndrome." Electromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology 47, no. 2: 89-92. doi:17479724.
  15. ^ Morris, H H, and B H Peters. "Pronator syndrome: clinical and electrophysiological features in seven cases." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 39, no. 5 (May 1976): 461-4. doi:PMC492308.
  16. ^ Ferdinand, Brett D, Zehava Sadka Rosenberg, Mark E Schweitzer, Steven A Stuchin, Laith M Jazrawi, Salvatore R Lenzo, et al. "MR imaging features of radial tunnel syndrome: initial experience." Radiology 240, no. 1 (July 2006): 161-8. doi:240/1/161.
  17. ^ Morris, H H, and B H Peters. "Pronator syndrome: clinical and electrophysiological features in seven cases." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 39, no. 5 (May 1976): 461-4. doi:PMC492308.
  18. ^ Lowe, W. "Pronator Teres Syndrome." Massage Today, no. 5 (May, 2007).
  19. ^ Johnson, R K, M Spinner, and M M Shrewsbury. "Median nerve entrapment syndrome in the proximal forearm." The Journal of Hand Surgery 4, no. 1 (January 1979): 48-51. doi:759503.
  20. ^ Hartz, C R, R L Linscheid, R R Gramse, and J R Daube. "The pronator teres syndrome: compressive neuropathy of the median nerve." The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 63, no. 6 (July 1981): 885-90. doi:7240329.
  21. ^ Farrell, H F. "Pain and the pronator teres syndrome." Bulletin of the Hospital for Joint Diseases 37, no. 1 (April 1976): 59-62. doi:974290.