Early Improvement in Patient-Reported Outcome Scores After Operative Treatment of Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Humeral Capitellum

Mitchel R. Obey, Charles A. Goldfarb, J. Sam Broughton, Sandra S. Gebhart, Matthew V. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Outcome measures that lack sensitivity for the detection of clinical changes early after surgery for capitellar osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) make it difficult to determine the optimal treatment for these defects. We sought to evaluate the early responsiveness of patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) scores in a cohort of patients operatively treated for capitellar OCD. Methods: Four PROMIS questionnaires (mobility, upper extremity [UE], pain interference, and peer relations) were electronically administered to patients treated for capitellar OCD at a single tertiary academic medical center between January 1, 2015, and July 1, 2018. The questionnaires were administered at the initial preoperative outpatient clinic visit as well as at the 2-week, 6-week, and final return-to-play (RTP) visits. Results: Twenty-nine patients (31 elbows, mean age 12.9 years) with available preoperative and postoperative PROMIS data were included. The mean final follow-up period was 26 weeks. Compared with that before surgery, there was a significant improvement in the mobility, pain interference, and UE scores at 6 weeks following surgery. The scores improved most significantly by 6 weeks, reached a relative plateau, and remained significantly improved through the RTP visit thereafter. Patients with preoperative, intra-articular loose bodies scored significantly better than those without them during the 6-week and RTP visits. Patients with lesions >1 cm2, compared with those with lesions ≤1 cm2, demonstrated greater improvement in the UE scores during the RTP visit. Conclusions: In patients undergoing operative treatment for capitellar OCD, a significant improvement in the PROMIS domains of mobility, pain interference, and UE can be expected early in the postoperative period, with majority of patients reaching their greatest improvement in scores by 6 weeks following surgery. Clinical relevance: This is important information for preoperative counseling. In addition, this information is helpful in confirming that PROMIS scores are responsive in the detection of changes in outcomes during the early postoperative period in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120.e1-1120.e7
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Capitellum
  • OCD
  • osteochondritis dissecans
  • patient-reported outcomes


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