Background: The purpose of this study was to determine pain and functional outcomes following revision cubital tunnel surgery and to identify predictors of poor postoperative outcome. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of all patients undergoing revision cubital tunnel surgery over a 5-year period at a high-volume peripheral nerve center. Intraoperative findings, demographic and injury factors, and outcomes were reviewed. Average pain, worst pain, and impact of pain on self-perceived quality of life were each measured using a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS). Function was evaluated using pinch and grip strength, as well as the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire. Differences in preoperative and postoperative pain, strength, and DASH were analyzed using nonparametric tests. Predictors of postoperative average pain were evaluated using odds ratios and linear regression analyses. Results: The final cohort consisted of 50 patients (mean age: 46.3 ± 12.5 years; 29 [68%] male) undergoing 52 revision ulnar nerve transpositions (UNTs). Pain VAS scores decreased significantly following revision UNT. Strength and DASH scores demonstrated nonsignificant improvements postoperatively. Worse preoperative pain and greater than 1 prior cubital tunnel procedure were significant predictors of worse postoperative average pain VAS scores. Conclusions: Patients can and do improve following revision cubital tunnel surgery, particularly as it relates to pain. Intraoperative findings during the revision procedure suggest that adherence to specific principles in the primary operation is key to prevention of secondary cubital tunnel syndrome.
- cubital tunnel