Patient-reported outcomes after acute carpal tunnel release in patients with distal radius open reduction internal fixation

Aakash Chauhan, Timothy C. Bowlin, Alexander D. Mih, Gregory A. Merrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: Acute carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a complication that can develop after distal radius fractures. Our hypothesis tested whether patient-reported outcomes after acute carpal tunnel release (CTR) performed in combination with distal radius fracture open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) are worse than patient-reported outcomes with only elective CTR as measured by the symptom severity and functional status scales of the Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire (BCTQ). Methods: A retrospective assessment identified 26 patients treated with acute CTR at the same time as distal radius ORIF, no history of pre-existing CTS or CTR, no other injuries, and >12 months follow-up. Sixteen of these patients (Group A) could be contacted and answered the BCTQ. Group A was age- and sex-matched to control patients (Group B) treated with only elective CTR. A case-control study was performed comparing outcomes of both groups. Results: The average age of patients was 51 ± 15 years, with an average follow-up of Group A at 49 ± 21 months versus Group B at 55 ± 20 months. The mean symptom severity scale score for Group A was 1.4 ± 0.4 and for Group B was 1.4 ± 0.4. The mean functional status scale score for Group A was 1.4 ± 0.5 and for Group B was 1.3 ± 0.4. The mean total BCTQ score for Group A was 26.5 ± 7.5 and for Group B was 24.9 ± 7.5. There were no statistical or clinically significant differences between Group A and Group B for symptom severity, functional status, and total BCTQ scores. Conclusions: Patients with acute CTR performed at the same time with distal radius ORIF do as well in the long-term as those patients with only elective CTR as measured by the BCTQ. Patients should expect similar recovery of subjective nerve function from acute median nerve dysfunction when CTR is performed with distal radius ORIF as patients with only elective CTR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012



  • Acute carpal tunnel release
  • Acute median nerve dysfunction
  • Boston carpal tunnel questionnaire
  • Distal radius fracture
  • Distal radius fracture ORIF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery

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