Changes in clinical symptoms, functions, and the median nerve cross-sectional area at the carpal tunnel inlet after open carpal tunnel release

Jae Kwang Kim, Young Do Koh, Jong Oh Kim, Shin Woo Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between clinical symptoms and cross-sectional area (CSA) of the median nerve at the carpal tunnel inlet before and after open carpal tunnel release (CTR). Methods: Thirty-two patients (53 hands) that underwent open CTR for idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome were prospectively enrolled. Median nerve CSA at the carpal tunnel inlet was measured preoperatively and at 2 and 12 weeks after CTR by high resolution ultrasonography. The Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire (BCTQ) was also completed at these times. Results: BCTQ symptom (BCTQ-S) score was significantly improved at 2 weeks postoperatively, but BCTQ function (BCTQ-F) score and CSA were significantly improved at 12 weeks postoperatively. Preoperative CSA was significantly correlated with preoperative BCTQ-S and BCTQ-F scores but was not significantly correlated with postoperative BCTQ scores or postoperative changes in BCTQ scores. Postoperative median nerve CSA was not significantly correlated with postoperative BCTQ-S or BCTQ-F scores, and postoperative changes in median nerve CSA were not significantly correlated with postoperative changes in BCTQ-S or BCTQ-F scores. Conclusions: The study shows clinical symptoms resolve rapidly after open CTR, but median nerve swelling and clinical function take several months to recover. In addition, preoperative median nerve swelling might predict preoperative severities of clinical symptoms and functional disabilities. However, postoperative reductions in median nerve swelling were not found to reflect postoperative reductions in clinical symptoms or functional disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalClinics in Orthopedic Surgery
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Median nerve
  • Ultrasonography

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