Rehabilitation after subcutaneous transposition of the ulnar nerve: Immediate versus delayed mobilization

Samuel D. Weirich, Richard H. Gelberman, Sharon A. Best, Sven Olof Abrahamsson, Deborah C. Furcolo, Robert E. Lins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied 36 patients who had clinical signs and symptoms consistent with cubital tunnel syndrome and in whom nonoperative management failed. These patients underwent anterior subcutaneous transposition of the ulnar nerve followed by either immediate (20 patients) or delayed (To patients) mobilization. All patients were evaluated with an outcomes assessment questionnaire, and 35 of the 36 were given repeat physical examinations. After surgery, there were no significant differences between the two groups in pain relief, weakness, or patient satisfaction (71% of the immediate mobilization group and 74% of the delayed group) were satisfied. Secondary quantitative outcomes such as grip strength, lateral pinch, or two-point discrimination were also not significantly different between the groups. Both groups had a statistically significant improvement in first dorsal interosseous and adductor pollicis muscle strength. In the immediate mobilization group, however, patients returned to work and resumed activities of daily living earlier (median 1 month) than patients in the delayed mobilization group (median 2.75 months). Therefore, we conclude that anterior subcutaneous transposition provides a high degree of satisfaction and relief of symptoms regardless of when mobilization is initiated. However, immediately mobilizing the patient significantly influenced how early the patient returned to work and resumed activities of daily living.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-249
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

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