HAND

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 36–42

Prospective randomized comparison of single-incision and two-incision carpal tunnel release outcomes

Surgery Articles

DOI: 10.1007/s11552-013-9572-z

Cite this article as:
Castillo, T.N. & Yao, J. HAND (2014) 9: 36. doi:10.1007/s11552-013-9572-z

Abstract

Background

This study analyzes both the subjective and objective symptom and functional outcomes of patients who underwent either traditional single-incision or two-incision carpal tunnel release (CTR).

Methods

From 2008 to 2009, patients with isolated carpal tunnel syndrome were randomized to undergo either single-incision or two-incision CTR by a single surgeon at a university medical center. Pre-operatively, participants completed a Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) Questionnaire, Brigham and Women's Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BWCTQ), as well as grip and pinch strength and Semmes–Weinstein monofilament sensation testing. At 2 weeks, 6 weeks and at least 6 months post-operatively, these measurements were repeated along with assessment of scar tenderness and pillar pain. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 software to perform non-parametric tests and Pearson's correlations. Significance was set at p = 0.05.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference between the single- and two-incision CTR groups with respect to pre- and post-operative DASH scores, BWCTQ scores, grip strength, pinch strength, scar tenderness, or pillar pain. The only statistically significant difference was improved sensation by Semmes–Weinstein in the single-incision group in the second finger at 6 weeks post-operatively and in the third finger at 6 months post-operatively.

Conclusions

The preservation of the superficial nerves and subcutaneous tissue between the thenar and hypothenar eminences may account for reports of less scar tenderness and pillar pain among recipients of two-incision CTR compared to single-incision CTR in the early post-operative period. However, there is similar post-operative recovery and improvement in grip and pinch strength and sensation after 6+ months post-operatively.

Keywords

Carpal tunnel syndromeCarpal tunnel releaseDASH QuestionnaireBrigham and Women's Carpal Tunnel QuestionnaireTwo-incision carpal tunnel releaseMinimally-invasive carpal tunnel release

Copyright information

© American Association for Hand Surgery 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryStanford UniversityRedwood CityUSA