Radial Nerve Entrapment

image of radial nerve anatomy anterior view
  • April 14, 2023

Arm and Elbow Pain

image of radial nerve anatomy anterior view

A 56-year-old man presented to the clinic with complaints of constant right arm and elbow pain. He also reported intermittent numbness, tingling and weakness to his right arm. The patient had electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV) testing which revealed radial nerve entrapment.

Radial nerve entrapment is the compression of the radial nerve which can occur at any location along the peripheral nerve. The radial nerve is responsible for motor and sensory functions in the forearm and hand (Picture #1.) Depending on the location of nerve entrapment, the patient may experience pain, numbness, and/or dysfunction of the arm.

Based on the patient presentation and EMG/NCV studies, Dr. Munshi recommended that the patient proceed with radial nerve release surgery. During the surgery, an incision was made along the outside of the elbow, down the forearm, and up into the upper arm. Following a careful dissection of soft tissue and muscles, the radial nerve was identified. Once recognizing the radial nerve, Dr. Munshi was able to follow the path of the nerve to relieve any areas that were compressed (Picture #2.) In this patient’s case, the radial nerve was compressed in many areas– both proximally and distally.

The patient tolerated the procedure well and was discharged home later that same day. The patient was seen in the clinic a few weeks following surgery with improvement of his preoperative symptoms.

diagram of radial nerve release surgery