Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS), also referred to as idiopathic brachial plexopathy or neuralgic amyotrophy, is a rare disorder consisting of a complex constellation of symptoms with abrupt onset of shoulder pain, usually unilaterally, followed by progressive neurologic deficits of motor weakness, dysesthesias, and numbness. Although the etiology of the syndrome is unclear, it is reported in various clinical situations, including postoperatively, postinfectious, posttraumatic, and postvaccination. The identification of the syndrome in the postoperative patient remains a challenge as symptoms may easily be attributed to sequelae of surgical positioning, postoperative recovery, or postanesthetic block pain. The purpose of this review is to bring forth salient, identifiable factors which may assist the surgical clinician in identifying the condition sooner. An early and proper diagnosis affords the opportunity to treat the patient accordingly and to the satisfaction of both surgeon and patient.
About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.