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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Apr;95(4):680-5. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.10.028. Epub 2013 Nov 16.

Predictors of functional outcomes after simple decompression for ulnar neuropathy at the elbow: a multicenter study by the SUN study group.

Author information

1
Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.
2
Center for Statistical Consultation and Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
3
OrthoCarolina Hand Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Charlotte, NC.
4
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.
5
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.
6
Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center, Indianapolis, IN.
7
Drisko Fee and Parkins Orthopedics, North Kansas City, MO.
8
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI.
9
Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI. Electronic address: kecchung@med.umich.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify predictors of surgical outcome for ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE).

DESIGN:

Prospective cohort followed for 1 year.

SETTING:

Clinics.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients diagnosed with UNE (N=55).

INTERVENTION:

All subjects had simple decompression surgery.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The primary outcome measure was patient-reported outcomes, such as overall hand function through the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (MHQ). Predictors included age, duration of symptoms, disease severity, and motor conduction velocity across the elbow.

RESULTS:

Multiple regression models with change in the overall MHQ score as the dependent variable showed that at 3 months postoperative time, patients with <3 months duration of symptoms showed 12 points (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9-23.5) greater improvement in MHQ scores than those with ≥3 months symptom duration. Less than 3 months of symptoms was again associated with 13 points (95% CI, 2.9-24) greater improvement in MHQ scores at 6 months postoperative, but it was no longer associated with better outcomes at 12 months. A worse baseline MHQ score was associated with significant improvement in MHQ scores at 3 months (coefficient, -0.38; 95% CI, -.67 to -.09), and baseline MHQ score was the only significant predictor of 12 month MHQ scores (coefficient, -.40; 95% CI, -.79 to -.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

Subjects with <3 months of symptoms and worse baseline MHQ scores showed significantly greater improvement in functional outcomes as reported by the MHQ. However, duration of symptoms was only predictive at 3 or 6 months because most patients recovered within 3 to 6 months after surgery.

KEYWORDS:

Outcome assessment (health care); Rehabilitation

PMID:
24252584
PMCID:
PMC4141550
DOI:
10.1016/j.apmr.2013.10.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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