Ulnar wrist denervation: articular branching pattern and selective blockade of the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve Journal Article uri icon
  • PURPOSE: Ulnar wrist denervation has been a successful treatment for patients with ulnar-sided wrist pain. The purpose of this study was to characterize the articular branches of the dorsal branch of the ulnar nerve (DBUN) and validate a technique for selective peripheral nerve blockade. METHODS: In cadavers, we performed simulated local anesthetic injections using 0.5 mL of 0.5% methylene into the subcutaneous tissue at a point midway between the palpable borders of the pisiform and ulnar styloid. We then dissected the DBUN, characterized its articular branching pattern, and measured staining intensity of the DBUN and the ulnar nerve relative to a standard. RESULTS: The DBUN branched from the ulnar nerve 7.0 ± 1.2 cm proximal to the ulnar styloid. Among 17 specimens, the DBUN provided an average of 1.2 (range, 0-2) ulnocarpal branches and 1.0 (range, 0-2) carpometacarpal articular branches. A simulated local anesthetic injection successfully stained 100% of the DBUN articular branches at or proximal to their takeoff. There was no staining of the proper ulnar nerves. In all specimens, the DBUN supplied at least one articular branch. CONCLUSIONS: A point midway between the palpable border of the pisiform and ulnar styloid may be an effective location for selectively blocking the DBUN articular afferents. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: In this study, we were able to identify a point halfway between the pisiform and ulnar styloid that has the potential to produce a selective peripheral nerve block of the portion of the DBUN that supplies articular fibers to the ulnocarpal joint and the fifth carpometacarpal joint. This technique may prove useful to surgeons treating ulnar-sided wrist pain.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2023
  • published in
  • Anesthesia
  • Hand
  • Orthopedics
  • Surgery
  • Additional Document Info
  • 48
  • issue
  • 6