Factors Influencing Patient Experience After Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

Priyanka Paramsewaran, Rabiah Fresco, Madison Brody, David M. Brogan, Ryan P. Calfee, Christopher J. Dy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use qualitative methodology to better understand patient experiences after cubital tunnel surgery, with the goal of identifying areas of improvement in delivery of care. Methods: Patients who underwent surgery (in situ decompression or anterior transposition) for cubital tunnel syndrome within the last 12 months, which was performed by one of three fellowship-trained hand surgeons, were identified. Participants were invited to an interview regarding “their experiences with ulnar nerve surgery.” An interview guide with semistructured, open-ended questions regarding the decision for surgery, treatment goals, and the recovery process was used. Interim data analyses were conducted to assess emerging themes, and interviews were continued until thematic saturation was achieved. Results: Seventeen participants completed interviews; the mean age of study participants was 57 years, and 71% were women. The mean time between surgery and the interview was 6 months. Participants identified the following two key areas that could improve their surgical experience: (1) the need for detailed preoperative education about the surgery and recovery process, (2) and the importance of discussing treatment goals and expectations. Participants suggested providing both written and online resources to patients, including specific details about incision size and recovery process in education materials, and setting expectations for symptom resolution. Conclusions: Although the overall patient experience after cubital tunnel surgery was positive, participants noted that there is a need for providing improved educational resources and counseling before surgery. Clinical Relevance: Addressing education and counseling needs before cubital tunnel surgery will help surgeons to improve delivery of care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • counseling
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • delivery of care
  • patient education
  • qualitative
  • satisfaction


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