Retrospective, nonrandomized analysis of subcutaneous anterior transposition versus in situ decompression of the ulnar nerve of military service members

John C. Dunn, Robin Goddard, Michael D. Eckhoff*, Brian R. Waterman, Leon J. Nesti, Kelly G. Kilcoyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to compare the subjective and objective midterm functional clinical outcomes of subcutaneous anterior transposition (SAT) vs. in situ decompression (SD) of the ulnar nerve for the treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome. Methods: The US Military Health System was queried to identify all cases of ulnar neuroplasty (Current Procedural Terminology code 64718) between 2006 and 2010. Patient charts were reviewed to identify cases of isolated SAT and SD, and demographic and surgical variables were collected. The primary outcome variable was the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score. The inclusion criteria were isolated primary SAT or SD and adult active-duty service members with a minimum 6-year telephone follow-up. Terminal follow-up was determined by a telephone interview. The exclusion criteria were revision procedures, trauma, cases that included other procedures (eg, medial epicondylectomy, submuscular transposition, arthroscopy, or fracture fixation), non–active-duty service members, patients without a minimum 6-year telephone follow-up, and patients who had incomplete medical records or could not be reached to complete the survey. Results: A total of 65 SD and 67 SAT patients met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, with a 72% telephone interview response rate. The average age was 32.3 years for all patients, with an average follow-up period of 6.5 years for SD patients and 6.3 years for SAT patients. SD patients had a lower mean Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score than SAT patients. No difference in reoperation rate was found. Conclusion: The active-duty cohort reported positive outcomes and a low reoperation rate at 6-year follow-up both after SAT and after SD. SD patients had mildly superior clinical outcomes compared with SAT patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-756
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Level III
  • Retrospective Cohort Design
  • Treatment Study
  • elbow surgery
  • in situ decompression
  • military
  • subcutaneous anterior transposition
  • ulnar nerve compression

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