Understanding Radial Nerve Palsy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Radial Nerve Palsy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Radial Nerve Palsy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Our body is a fascinating machine, with all its parts interconnected and functioning together. However, sometimes the body is subjected to various external or internal injuries resulting in a type of neuropathy known as radial nerve palsy. Though it's not a common disease, it can affect individuals of all age groups. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for radial nerve palsy.


1. Understanding Radial Nerve Palsy

Radial nerve palsy occurs when the radial nerve, one of the three main nerves in the arm, is damaged. This nerve runs from the spine, down the arm, and into the hand and fingers. The nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles that control the wrist, fingers, and forearm. It also provides sensation to the back of the hand and forearm.

2. Causes of Radial Nerve Palsy

Radial nerve palsy can be caused by various factors, including direct injury to the nerve, trauma to the upper arm, forearm, or elbow. It can also result from prolonged pressure on the nerve due to a fracture or dislocation. Additionally, the nerve may also get compressed in specific conditions such as chronic use of crutches or leaning on the elbow for a long duration.

3. Symptoms

Individuals suffering from radial nerve palsy struggle to move or control their hands or fingers. Some individuals may experience severe pain, while others may experience a tingling or prickling sensation. They may also experience numbness or weakness in their arms, hands, and fingers. They may also experience difficulty in holding objects, picking things up or twisting their wrist.

4. Treatment

The most effective treatment for radial nerve palsy requires early diagnosis and management. Treatment options can range from conservative measures such as physical therapy, medications, and bracing. Surgical intervention such as nerve transfer or nerve grafting may also be necessary for severe cases.

5. Prevention

The best way to prevent radial nerve palsy is by maintaining proper posture, avoiding excessive pressure on the arms or elbows, and taking frequent breaks when performing repetitive tasks. Additionally, wearing protective gear to prevent excessive trauma or injuries to the arm or elbow is also advisable.



In conclusion, radial nerve palsy can be a debilitating condition that affects an individual's ability to carry out daily activities. However, timely diagnosis and treatment can help manage this condition effectively. Consulting an orthopedic surgeon for medical advice and treatment is essential for individuals who suspect or experience symptoms of radial nerve palsy. If you're searching for an orthopedic surgeon in Debary, FL, contact Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute today for more information.