Introduction: Ischemic monomelic neuropathy (IMN) is the most dreaded complication of an arteriovenous access creation. While uncommon, it can lead to pain, paresthesia or/and hand weakness. Creation of an arteriovenous connection causing a sudden diversion of blood away from the nerves can lead to ischemic injury to the neural tissue and cause IMN. Immediate surgical ligation has been traditionally recommended to limit ongoing neural tissue injury. Case description: We present two diabetic patients who developed IMN after the creation of a left upper extremity brachial-cephalic fistula and refused to undergo surgical ligation. The clinical examination revealed paresthesia localized to the volar aspect of the left forearm with mild weakness of the thumb, index and middle finger. Rehabilitation therapy was initiated in both and revealed a significant improvement in weakness but paresthesia persisted. Fistula maturation was achieved in both patients with an access flow of 1100-1200 cc/min. At 4 months, fistula was used successfully for dialysis in both patients. At a follow-up of 11 months, hand weakness did not progress and paresthesia disappeared. Conclusions: These cases demonstrate sensory-motor improvement with time and rehabilitation therapy and challenge the traditional approach of fistula ligation. The approach presented in this paper also results in the preservation of the lifeline of a patient. Future investigations should focus on identifying candidates who could benefit from physical therapy and rehabilitation.
- Arteriovenous fistula
- Hand ischemia
- Ischemic monomelic neuropathy
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