Radial Nerve Injury in the Dog

Radial Nerve Injury in the Dog


Clinically recognize and diagnose the the difference between proximal and distal radial nerve injury in the canine patient.

Pathway to Success:
Step 1: Read Summary and Objective
Step 2: Read References in Miller's Anatomy of the Dog & Merck Veterinary Manual under "Textbooks"
Step 3: See Videos under "Textbooks" AND see Anatomic and Clinical Diagnoses
Step 4: See Slideshow:  "Proximal vs. Distal Radial Nerve Injuries"
Step 5: See Videos:     
            1- Radial Nerve Paralysis from Brachial Plexus Injury
            2- Radial Nerve Injury- Proximal Division
            3- Radial Nerve Injury- Distal Division
Step 6: Review Slideshow above and study until confident with competence
Step 7: Open the Slideshow:  "Self-Assessment- Radial Nerve Paralysis" and choose your answers
             Level of Competence Desired-
                Mastery- Complete the Self-Assessment Closed Book and achieve a score of 90% or greater
                Competent- Complete the Self-Assessment Closed Book and achieve a score of 70% or greater
                Informed- Complete the Self-Assessment Open Book
Step 8: Check answers:  "Answer Key to Self-Assesment"
Step 9: Review against any errors
Step 10: Assignment Completed

Radial nerve injuries are relative common in domestic animals.  In this short module, the domestic dog will be used as the case model.

Proximal division injuries are defined as those in the brachial plexus and mid- to proximal humeral regions affecting the nerve prior to the departure of its tricipital branches.  Such injuries would thusly affect all radial nerve innervations:  tricipital group, craniolateral antebrachial group, and sensation over the dorsum of the distal antebrachium and manus.

By contrast, distal division injuries are those affecting the radial nerve distal to the divisions supplying the tricipital group.  Thus triciptial group innervation is spared, while the craniolateral antebrachial motor innervation and sensory fields as described above are afflicted.

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Proximal vs. Distal Radial Nerve Injuries

Neuroanatomy and comparative pathophysiology and clinical presentations of two distinct types of radial nerve injury

Radial Nerve Paralysis from Brachial Plexus Injury

Notice extreme affect on gait and atrophy of tricipital and craniolateral extensor muscles

Radial Nerve Injury- Proximal Division

Notice knuckling, extreme gait deficit and lack of ability to support weight on the left thoracic limb

Source: Dr. Worthman

Radial Nerve Injury- Distal Division

Notice dog knuckles on slippery floor at first step and then compensates with an exaggerated forward phase to "fling" paw forward to land.

Source: Dr. Worthman

Self-Assessment- Radial Nerve Paralysis

Take this assessment to validate your competence on this subject

Answer Key to Self-Assesment

See this slideshow ONLY AFTER you have completed the Self-Assessment