Every month, JBJS publishes a review of the most pertinent and impactful studies published in the orthopaedic literature during the previous year in 14 specialty areas. Click here for a collection of all such OrthoBuzz Guest Editorial summaries.
This month, author Christopher J. Dy, MD, MPH summarizes the 5 most compelling findings from the 40 studies highlighted in the most recent “What’s New in Hand and Wrist Surgery.”
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
–Corticosteroid injection is one modality for managing carpal tunnel syndrome, and a recent study examined the accuracy of needle placement1. Of 756 simulated injections, correct placement was noted for 572 (76%). The needle was placed in the median nerve 66 times (8.7%), and the carpal tunnel was missed 118 times (15.6%). As noted by the study authors, “safety of carpal tunnel injection remains an important concern.”
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
–One recent study evaluating patient-reported outcomes of in situ decompression for cubital tunnel syndrome found that 66 (86%) of 77 patients were satisfied2. All of the patients who were not satisfied had preoperative weakness of the muscles innervated by the ulnar nerve.
Distal Radial Fracture
–A retrospective radiographic analysis of 273 uninjured adult distal radii found that the volar cortical angle (VCA) ranged from 23° to 43° (mean, 32°)3. With most volar locking plates having a fixed angle of 18° to 30°, there is a strong possibility of a mismatch between the patient’s VCA and the implant. If the patient’s VCA exceeds the implant’s fixed angle, undercorrection of sagittal tilt may result if the plate is used to guide reduction in treating a distal radial fracture.
–A recent report presented a single surgeon’s experience over an 11-year time frame with 3 common treatments of Dupuytren contracture4. The rates of reintervention after needle aponeurotomy were 24% at 2 years and 61% at 5 years; after collagenase injection at the same time points, 41% and 55%; and after surgical fasciectomy, 4% at both 2 and 5 years. When factoring in cost, needle aponeurotomy appeared to be a high-value intervention.
–Among 203 patients who underwent 3-ligament tenodesis for scapholunate injury, improvement in patient-reported outcomes at 1 year was noted for 79%, but 10% had no change, and 11% had worse patient-reported outcomes5. Indications for 3-ligament tenodesis may need further clarification.
- Green DP, MacKay BJ, Seiler SJ, Fry MT. Accuracy of carpal tunnel injection: a prospective evaluation of 756 patients. Hand (N Y). 2020 Jan;15(1):54-8. Epub 2018 Jul 13.
- Yeoman TFM, Stirling PHC, Lowdon A, Jenkins PJ, McEachan JE. Patient-reported outcomes after in situ cubital tunnel decompression: a report in 77 patients. J Hand Surg EurVol. Vol 2020 Jan;45(1):51-5. Epub 2019 Oct 30.
- Gandhi RA, Hesketh PJ, Bannister ER, Sebro R, Mehta S. Age-related variations in volar cortical angle of the distal radius. Hand (N Y). 2020 Jul;15(4):573-7. Epub 2018 Dec 31.
- Leafblad ND, Wagner E, Wanderman NR, Anderson GR, Visscher SL, Maradit Kremers H, Larson DR, Rizzo M. Outcomes and direct costs of needle aponeurotomy, collagenase injection, and fasciectomy in the treatment of Dupuytren contracture. J Hand Surg Am. 2019 Nov;44(11):919-27. Epub 2019 Sep 17.
- Blackburn J, van der Oest MJW, Poelstra R, Selles RW, Chen NC, Feitz R; Hand-Wrist Study Group. Three-ligament tenodesis for chronic scapholunate injuries: short-term outcomes in 203 patients. J Hand Surg EurVol. Vol 2020 May;45(4):383-8. Epub 2019 Nov 11.