Paralysis of a peripheral nerve following the use of a rubber tourniquet for surgical hemostasis is not an infrequent occurrence. A review of the literature, however, reveals few reports of such lesions. This is probably due to the fact that the vast majority of such cases show only an evanescent paralysis with involvement lasting a few days or weeks, followed by complete remission of symptoms. This deduction is verified by our own experience and that of the numerous surgeons with wide experience in the use of the tourniquet.
The first available report is that of Montes,1 who in 1888 described permanent peripheral nerve paralysis as a result of the use of a tourniquet. The exact length of time of follow-up is not known. The next item in the literature is a case report by J. J. Putnam2 in 1888 before the Boston Society for Medical Improvement. He described
SPEIGEL IJ, LEWIN P. TOURNIQUET PARALYSIS: ANALYSIS OF THREE CASES OF SURGICALLY PROVED PERIPHERAL NERVE DAMAGE FOLLOWING USE OF RUBBER TOURNIQUET. JAMA. 1945;129(6):432–435. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860400016005
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