Determination of functional outcome following upper extremity arterial trauma

Vijay Joshi, Gregory E.J. Harding, David A. Bottoni, Marge B. Lovell, Thomas L. Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Upper extremity arterial trauma may lead to significant disability with a poor functional outcome. This study represents a retrospective review of all trauma patients presenting to a university-affiliated medical center. Patients suffering from upper extremity arterial injuries requiring treatment were identified. The injured vessels were identified along with the mechanism of injury and method of repair. The degree of functional disability was evaluated by using a previously validated questionnaire, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) Outcome Measure. Between September 1999 and December 2004, 17 patients presented with traumatic arterial injury to the upper extremity, with 9 and 8 patients suffering from blunt and penetrating traumas, respectively. One patient required amputation representing a limb salvage rate of 94%. The mean length of hospitalization was significantly shorter for penetrating trauma (5.1 vs 12 days, P =.03), with blunt trauma victims being more prone to coexisting orthopedic injuries (P =.009). Length of follow-up did not differ between the 2 groups and ranged from 1-60 months. Patients with blunt trauma tended, although not statistically significant, to have higher DASH scores (61.8 vs 22.8, P =.08), indicating a greater degree of disability. By utilizing a validated disability questionnaire, this study confirms that patients suffering from blunt injuries to upper extremity arteries are more likely to have greater degrees of disability affecting everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-114
Number of pages4
JournalVascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial trauma
  • Blunt injury
  • Penetrating trauma
  • Upper extremity


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