In this 6-year study of 101 limbs requiring surgical intervention for upper-extremity vascular trauma, most patients were male, young, and injured by penetrating objects. Injured vessels included 13 axillary/subclavian, 23 brachial, 40 radial, and 25 ulnar arteries. Concomitant injuries included nerve injury in 50 cases tendon laceration in 29, and bony fracture in 11. Arterial repair was accomplished by primary repair in 54 limbs, vein graft in 26 limbs, and vein patch in 3 limbs. Seventeen arterial injuries were ligated. Ancillary procedures ineluded 30 nerve or 27 tendon repairs. The limb salvage rate was 99%. No functional deficits were noted in those cases with only a vascular injury. In 64% and 25% of patients with nerve or musculoskeletal injury, respectively, the arm was functionally imparied. Prompt diagnosis and surgical intervention eliminate vascular injury as a factor in upper-extremity limb loss or disability. Functional deficits are the result of nerve or orthopedic injuries.
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