Saturday Night Palsy

If you’ve ever done some serious Saturday night partying and found yourself sore in the morning, there’s a chance you were so inebriated that you slept in an unnatural position. After a shower and a cup of coffee, it’s likely your body was on the mend. There are some people, however, who party hearty to the point where immobilization in an unnatural position resulted in prolonged compressive damage of the radial nerve — the nerve that helps you move your elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. This compression then leads to a nerve palsy — nicknamed Saturday Night Palsy — that causes motor and sensory deficits. Treatment for Saturday Night Palsy is typically focused on physical therapy, though recovery is not rapid. In even the mildest of cases, it takes 2-4 months to resolve. In severe cases, the chance of full recovery is low. Needless to say, in the case of Saturday Night Palsy, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is true.