Tinatin Natroshvili, Erik T. Walbeehm, Nens van Alfen and Ronald H. M. A. Bartels
The clinical results of reoperation for recurrent or persistent ulnar nerve compression at the elbow have not been clearly determined. The aim of this review was to determine overall improvement, residual pain, and sensory and motor deficits following reoperation regardless of the type of primary surgery performed for this condition.
In accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) recommendations, a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies was performed. An independent librarian performed a literature search using Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). The Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and the quality appraisal tool described by Moga et al. were used to assess the quality of included case series.
Of the 278 retrieved studies, 16 were eligible for analysis and included a total of 290 patients with failed surgery for ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow. Relief of symptoms after reoperation was reported in 85% of patients. A decrease in pain was noted in 85% of the patients (95% CI 75%–93%). Only 2.4% of patients with preoperative pain experienced worse pain after reoperation. Motor and sensory function improvement was noted in 77% (95% CI 63%–88%) and 77% (95% CI 61%–90%) of cases, respectively. Complete recovery from signs and symptoms at the final follow-up was noted in 23% of elbows (95% CI 16%–31%).
Although the level of evidence of the included studies was low, the majority of patients had relief from their complaints after reoperation for recurrent or persistent ulnar nerve compression at the elbow following a previous surgery. The success rate of surgical treatment for a failed surgery was quite remarkable since almost a quarter of the patients completely recovered. Therefore, the authors recommend reoperation as a serious option for patients with this condition.
Shoista Kambiz, Liron S. Duraku, Martijn Baas, Tim H. J. Nijhuis, Saniye G. Cosgun, Steven E. R. Hovius, Tom J. H. Ruigrok and Erik T. Walbeehm
Peripheral nerve injuries are a commonly encountered clinical problem and often result in long-term functional deficits. The current gold standard for transected nerves is an end-to-end reconstruction, which results in the intermittent appearance of neuropathic pain.
To improve our understanding of the relation between this type of reconstruction and neuropathic pain, the authors transected and immediately end-to-end reconstructed the sciatic nerve in rats. The effect of this procedure on neuropathic pain, as measured by thermal and mechanical hypersensitivity at 4 different time points (5, 10, 20, and 30 weeks), was related to the density of peptidergic and nonpeptidergic fiber innervation in the glabrous skin of rats' hind paws.
Thermal hypersensitivity occurring 20 weeks after reconstruction was accompanied by a significant increase in peptidergic epidermal fibers. However, the lesion-induced reduction in the density of nonpeptidergic epidermal fibers remained decreased at all experimental time points. Moreover, temporal collateral sprouting by undamaged saphenous nerve was visualized using the recently revised Evans blue extravasation technique. Strikingly, as the sciatic nerve repopulated rats' hind paw, the saphenous nerve withdrew to its original territory.
The authors conclude that the transient thermal hypersensitivity is related to increased density of epidermal peptidergic fibers, which mainly originate from regenerating fibers. Furthermore, a changed composition in the peptidergic and nonpeptidergic epidermal fibers is demonstrated following end-to-end reconstruction of the sciatic nerve.
Pepijn O. Sun, Ruud W. Selles, Miguel C. Jansen, Harm P. Slijper, Dietmar J. O. Ulrich and Erik T. Walbeehm
The aim of this study was to evaluate the self-reported outcome of revision surgery in patients with recurrent and persistent carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and to identify predictors of clinical outcome of revision surgery.
A total of 114 hands in 112 patients were surgically treated for recurrent and persistent CTS in one of 10 specialized hand clinics. As part of routine care, patients were asked to complete online questionnaires regarding demographic data, comorbidities, and clinical severity measures. The Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BCTQ) was administered at intake and at 6 months postoperatively to evaluate clinical outcome. The BCTQ comprises the subscales Symptom Severity Scale (SSS) and Functional Status Scale (FSS), and the individual scores were also assessed. Using multivariable regression models, the authors identified factors predictive of the outcome as measured by the BCTQ FSS, SSS, and total score at 6 months.
Revision surgery significantly improved symptoms and function. Longer total duration of symptoms, a higher BCTQ total score at intake, and diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) along with CTS were associated with worse outcome after revision surgery at 6 months postoperatively. The multivariable prediction models could explain 33%, 23%, and 30% of the variance in outcome as measured by the FSS, SSS, and BCTQ total scores, respectively, at 6 months. Although patients with higher BCTQ scores at intake have worse outcomes, they generally have the most improvement in symptoms and function.
This study identified total duration of symptoms, BCTQ total score at intake, and diagnosis of CRPS along with CTS as predictors of clinical outcome and confirmed that revision surgery significantly improves self-reported symptoms and function in patients with recurrent and persistent CTS. Patients with more severe CTS symptoms have greater improvement in symptoms at 6 months postoperatively than patients with less severe CTS, but 80% of patients still had residual symptoms 6 months postoperatively. These results can be used to inform both patient and surgeon to manage expectations on improvement of symptoms.
Justus L. Groen, Willem Pondaag and Martijn Malessy