Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcome Measurements and Objective Measurements after Cubital Tunnel Decompression

Mateusz Koziej, Marek Trybus, Marta Banach, Marcin Bednarek, Anna Chrapusta, Marek Szuścik, Katarzyna Piątek-Koziej, Krzysztof Tomaszewski
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2018, 141 (5): 1171-1181

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were (1) to compare the responsiveness of disease and hand-related issues, including health status-related questions, in patients with cubital tunnel syndrome; and (2) to assess whether these tools and objective hand tests are associated with the results of nerve conduction studies after a simple cubital tunnel syndrome decompression.

METHODS: Forty-seven patients with diagnosed condition were enrolled in the study. The following tools were used preoperatively and again at 3 and 6 months: the Patient-Rated Ulnar Nerve Evaluation; the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire; the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand; the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey; the pain visual analogue scale with activity; the grip and key pinch test, two-point discrimination, and the ulnar nerve conduction studies test.

RESULTS: All questionnaires and pain visual analogue scale, two-point discrimination, and nerve conduction studies improved significantly at the 6-month follow-up (p < 0.05) compared with preoperative outcomes. Correlations were observed between preoperative motor conduction velocity, preoperative work of the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (R = -0.38; p = 0.049), and pain visual analogue scale during activity (R = 0.47; p = 0.025). A correlation was found between motor conduction velocity change after 6 months and the hand function of the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire after 6 months (R = 0.57; p = 0.017).

CONCLUSION: The Patient-Rated Ulnar Nerve Evaluation and the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire were more responsive for short-term recovery compared with other measures; however, only the latter correlated with motor conduction velocity.

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