Patients With and Without Double Crush Syndrome Achieve Similar Rates of Clinical Improvement Following Carpal Tunnel Release

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Hand (N Y)


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to compare outcomes of carpal tunnel release (CTR) in patients with and without double crush syndrome (DCS), defined as concurrent carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and cervical radiculopathy at C5-T1 on preoperative nerve conduction studies.

METHODS: Patients with preoperative nerve conduction studies who underwent unilateral, isolated CTR were retrospectively identified. All patients completed preoperative and 3-month postoperative Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) upper extremity (UE) and pain interference (PI), and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (QuickDASH) questionnaires, and responded to the anchor question: "Since your treatment, how would you rate your overall function?" (much worse, worse, slightly worse, no change, slightly improved, improved, much improved). Preoperative, postoperative, and changes in scores for UE, PI, and QuickDASH were compared, as were the anchor question responses and rates of achieving the minimal clinically important difference (MCID).

RESULTS: Sixty-three patients with DCS and 115 patients with CTS only were included. At 3- to 4-month follow-up, absolute and change in UE, PI, and QuickDASH scores were not statistically different between patients with DCS and CTS. Rates of anchor question response and MCID achievement were comparable for patients with CTS only and DCS on each questionnaire. The MCID achievement ranged from 48.4% to 68.8% in the unmatched cohort and 48.4% to 60% in the matched group.

CONCLUSIONS: At 3 to 4 months, patients with DCS experience similar patient-reported symptomatic and functional improvement, and achieve MCID of outcome measures at comparable rates to patients with CTS only. For patients with nerve compression at the carpal tunnel and cervical spine, CTR is a reasonable first step prior to proceeding with cervical spine decompression.

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ePub ahead of print

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