Outcomes and Return to Work Following Complex Nerve Lacerations in the Volar Forearm in an Underserved Spanish-Speaking Population

Ryan B. Bucknam*, John C. Dunn, Isaac Fernandez, Leon J. Nesti, Gilberto A. Gonzalez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Lacerations to the ulnar and median nerve in the volar forearm have demonstrated considerable long-term clinical and socioeconomic impacts on patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of complex volar forearm lacerations involving one or more major peripheral nerves in an economically disadvantaged patient population. Methods: In this study, a retrospective analysis of 61 patients who sustained lacerations to the median nerve, ulnar nerve, or both with volar wrist lacerations was performed. Each patient's preinjury and postinjury occupation, dominant extremity, and demographic variables were evaluated. Sensation recovery, motor recovery, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand scores, visual analog scale scores, cold intolerance, and return to work were evaluated at 3, 6, and 12 months after the injury. Results: Patients with isolated median nerve injuries demonstrated improved motor recovery compared with patients with isolated ulnar nerve injuries. Patients with combined nerve injuries had worse sensation recovery and motor recovery, and lower rates of return to work than either group of patients with isolated nerve injuries. Manual laborers had worse motor recovery and lower rates of return to work than did patients who were office workers. Conclusions: Patients with combined median and ulnar nerve injuries have worse functional recovery and lower rates of return to work than do patients with isolated median or isolated ulnar nerve injuries at 1 year. Manual laborers demonstrated worse functional recovery and lower rates of return to work compared with office workers at 1 year. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery Global Online
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nerve laceration
  • Nerve repair
  • Return to work
  • Spaghetti wrist
  • Volar laceration

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