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BACKGROUND: Lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve is a terminal sensory branch of the musculocutaneous nerve. Lateral antebrachial cutaneous neuropathy (LABCN) is rare and often underdiagnosed. Less than 100 cases have been described in the orthopedic literature.

METHODS: It's a single-center retrospective study. A retrospective chart review of patients with LABCN who were seen over 16 years was performed. Demographics and detailed clinical information were recorded. In addition, electrodiagnostic data were reviewed, and clinical outcome was recorded.

RESULTS: Fifteen patients were included in this study. Postsurgical etiology was the most common (n = 7) cause of LABCN. Other cases included antecubital fossa phlebotomy and intravenous placement (n = 4), trauma (n = 1), overuse or repetitive forearm use (n = 2), and dog bite (n = 1). No etiology was found in one case, but the patient had diabetes.

CONCLUSION: Our study proposes that patient positioning during orthopedic surgeries leading to stretch or compression of the lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve is the most likely cause of LABCN. Antecubital fossa needle placement is the second most common cause of LABCN. However, it's a rare mononeuropathy and can be underdiagnosed. Therefore, detailed history, examination, and nerve conduction studies of the bilateral lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve could help establish the diagnosis after other etiologies have been carefully excluded.

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