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Published Online:https://doi.org/10.3928/01477447-20170925-05Cited by:4

Abstract

A Tinel's sign, a percussion-induced, painful sensation, has been reported as the most useful sign for diagnosing a schwannoma. On magnetic resonance imaging, schwannomas often exhibit a split fat sign and a target sign. The typical treatment for schwannomas is surgical excision; however, excision often results in high rates of neurological deficit. The authors retrospectively reviewed 20 patients who underwent excision of a schwannoma from 2007 to 2015. Twenty patients presented with a split fat sign and 12 patients presented with a Tinel's sign on magnetic resonance imaging. Only 3 patients presented with a target sign on magnetic resonance imaging. The operative approach involved removing the schwannoma, preserving the nearby nerve fascicles, and leaving the epineurium open. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 91 months (average, 29 months). At final follow-up, all patients were pain free. Nineteen patients had normal sensation and full function of their affected limb. One patient developed postoperative posterior interosseous nerve palsy. A Tinel's sign, preoperative pain, and a split fat sign on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging are the clinical symptoms most useful for diagnosing a schwannoma. Schwannomas can be safely removed via intracapsular surgical excision with minimal complications, yielding eradication of preoperative pain, normal sensation, and full function. [Orthopedics. 2017; 40(6):e1036–e1043.]

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