Posterior Interosseous Neuropathy: Electrodiagnostic Evaluation


Electrodiagnostic studies are used to anatomically localize nerve injuries. These tests help differentiate between cervical radiculopathies, brachial plexopathies, and peripheral nerve injuries. They also help to identify or rule out other underlying neurological diseases and disorders. In this case report, a 22-year-old male swimmer presented with left finger extensor weakness following pull-up exercises. Left wrist extension remained intact. Electrodiagnostic testing revealed a severe but incomplete posterior interosseous neuropathy. Magnetic resonance imaging confirmed inflammation of the nerve in the forearm. Posterior interosseous neuropathy is an uncommon but well-studied condition. Typically, this condition presents with weakness in finger and thumb extension with preserved wrist extension as the extensor carpi radialis longus is innervated proximal to the site of nerve compression in most cases. It is important to understand the anatomic course and distribution of the radial nerve in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Once the anatomy is understood, electrodiagnostic testing may be used to identify the location of nerve injury and exclude other disorders.

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Correspondence to Anna-Christina Bevelaqua MD.

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Bevelaqua, A., Hayter, C.L., Feinberg, J.H. et al. Posterior Interosseous Neuropathy: Electrodiagnostic Evaluation. HSS Jrnl 8, 184–189 (2012).

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  • posterior interosseous nerve
  • nerve injury
  • electromyography (EMG)
  • electrodiagnostics
  • finger extension weakness