Ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow is the second most common nerve entrapment syndrome at the upper limp, after carpal tunnel syndrome. Many surgeons feel that ulnar nerve instability contra-indicates endoscopic nerve release. Published studies, however, found no evidence that pre-operative or intra-operative ulnar nerve instability adversely affected clinical outcomes. The objective of this prospective study was to define the indications and describe the outcomes of endoscopic ulnar nerve release at the elbow.
Endoscopic ulnar nerve release at the elbow is a valid option even in patients with ulnar nerve instability and regardless of the severity of the compression.
Material and methods
We conducted a prospective single-centre study of patients scheduled for surgery based on clinical and electromyographic manifestations of ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow. Ulnar nerve instability (incomplete dislocation, i.e., Childress A) before or during surgery was not a contra-indication to the procedure. The patients were re-evaluated 12 months after surgery.
Seventeen patients were included in the statistical analysis. The modified Bishop's score indicated excellent or good outcomes in 15 (88%) patients (excellent in 4 and good in 11) and a fair outcome in 2 patients. Functional outcomes were not associated with the presence of ulnar nerve instability before surgery.
We elected to include patients with Childress A ulnar nerve instability. Clinical outcomes in these patients were similar to those in patients without ulnar nerve instability.
Level of evidence
IV, open prospective study of treatment outcomes.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Ulnar nerve, Endoscopy, Instability, Prospective study