Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2016

Comments

This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in Journal of Hand Surgery

Volume 41, Issue 3, March 2016, Pages 427-435.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2015.12.012. Copyright © American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the incidence of revision and potential risk factors for needing revision surgery following in situ ulnar nerve decompression for patients with idiopathic cubital tunnel syndrome (CTS).

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients treated at 1 specialty hand center with an open in situ ulnar nerve decompression for idiopathic CTS from January 2006 through December 2010. Revision incidence was determined by identifying patients who underwent additional surgeries for recurrent or persistent ulnar nerve symptoms. Bivariate analysis was performed to determine which variables had a significant influence on the need for revision surgery.

RESULTS: Revision surgery was required in 3.2% (7 of 216) of all cases. Age younger than 50 years at the time of index decompression was the lone significant predictor of need for revision surgery. Other patient factors, including gender, diabetes, smoking history, and workers' compensation status were not predictive of the need for revision surgery. Disease-specific variables including nerve conduction velocities, McGowan grading, and predominant symptom type were also not predictive of revision.

CONCLUSIONS: For patients with idiopathic CTS, the risk of revision surgery following in situ ulnar nerve decompression is low. However, this risk was increased in patients who were younger than 50 years at the time of the index procedure. The findings of this study suggest that, in the absence of underlying elbow arthritis or prior elbow trauma, in situ ulnar nerve decompression is an effective, minimal-risk option for the initial surgical treatment of CTS.

TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic III.

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