Entrapment Neuropathies: Electrodiagnostic Criteria

2019 ◽  
Vol 24 (6) ◽  
pp. 12-15
Jay Blaisdell ◽  
James B. Talmage

Abstract Like the diagnosis-based impairment (DBI) method and the range-of-motion (ROM) method for rating permanent impairment, the approach for rating compression or entrapment neuropathy in the upper extremity (eg, carpal tunnel syndrome [CTS]) is a separate and distinct methodology in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Sixth Edition. Rating entrapment neuropathies is similar to the DBI method because the evaluator uses three grade modifiers (ie, test findings, functional history, and physical evaluation findings), but the way these modifiers are applied is different from that in the DBI method. Notably, the evaluator must have valid nerve conduction test results and cannot diagnose or rate nerve entrapment or compression without them; postoperative nerve conduction studies are not necessary for impairment rating purposes. The AMA Guides, Sixth Edition, uses criteria that match those established by the Normative Data Task Force and endorsed by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM); evaluators should be aware of updated definitions of normal from AANEM. It is possible that some patients may be diagnosed with carpal or cubital tunnel syndrome for treatment but will not qualify for that diagnosis for impairment rating; evaluating physicians must be familiar with electrodiagnostic test results to interpret them and determine if they confirm to the criteria for conduction delay, conduction block, or axon loss; if this is not the case, the evaluator may use the DBI method with the diagnosis of nonspecific pain.

2015 ◽  
Vol 20 (2) ◽  
pp. 11-11
James B. Talmage

Abstract Part 1 of this series examined many of the rules in the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides), Sixth Edition, regarding rating nerve entrapment or focal neuropathies; the current article, part 2, examines how to read and match the findings in an electrodiagnostic report to the criteria in Appendix 15-B, Electrodiagnostic Evaluation of Entrapment, as explained in Section 15.4f, and determine the severity of the test findings as listed in Table 15-23. Physicians who perform nerve conduction studies often use their own definitions of mild, moderate, and severe; these definitions are not standardized and frequently differ from the electrophysiologic definitions used in the AMA Guides, Sixth Edition. When examiners rate focal entrapment neuropathy, they must match data from the electrodiagnostic report to the criteria in Appendix 15-B, and a figure shows a hypothetical motor nerve conduction report for a case that shows both mild neuropathy (conduction delay) of the median nerve at the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome) and severe neuropathy (axon loss) of the ulnar nerve at the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome). If both fibrillations and positive waves are seen in the same muscle, the reviewer can be more confident that other electromyographic potentials were not misinterpreted as fibrillations. Prepared with the results of electrodiagnostic studies, the evaluator can work through the steps of history, physical findings, and functional scale to determine the final upper limb impairment according to the AMA Guides.

Hand Surgery ◽  
2006 ◽  
Vol 11 (01n02) ◽  
pp. 89-91 ◽  
G. Mitsionis ◽  
E. E. Pakos ◽  
I. Gavriilidis ◽  
Anna Batistatou

Cubital tunnel syndrome is one of the most common entrapment neuropathies in adults. It is mainly caused by the depression of ulnar nerve from normal structures at the elbow area. Despite the fact that several pathgological entities can be potential mechanisms of the syndrome, the pathogenesis due to benign or malignant neoplasms is extremely rare. In the present report we describe the first case of cubital tunnel syndrome due to giant cell tumour of the tendon sheaths.

Hand ◽  
2018 ◽  
Vol 15 (2) ◽  
pp. 165-169
T. David Luo ◽  
Amy P. Trammell ◽  
Luke P. Hedrick ◽  
Ethan R. Wiesler ◽  
Francis O. Walker ◽  

Background: In cubital tunnel syndrome (CuTS), chronic compression often occurs at the origin of the flexor carpi ulnaris at the medial epicondyle. Motor nerve conduction velocity (NCV) across the elbow is assessed preoperatively to corroborate the clinical impression of CuTS. The purpose of this study was to correlate preoperative NCV to the direct measurements of ulnar nerve size about the elbow at the time of surgery in patients with clinical and/or electrodiagnostic evidence of CuTS. Methods: Data from 51 consecutive patients who underwent cubital tunnel release over a 2-year period were reviewed. Intraoperative measurements of the decompressed nerve were taken at 3 locations: at 4 cm proximal to the medial epicondyle, at the medial epicondyle, and at the distal aspect of Osborne fascia at the flexor aponeurotic origin. Correlation analysis was performed comparing nerve size measurements to slowing of ulnar motor nerve conduction velocities (NCV) below the normal threshold of 49 m/s across the elbow. Results: Enlargement of the ulnar nerve at the medial epicondyle and nerve compression at the flexor aponeurotic origin was a consistent finding. The mean calculated cross-sectional area of the ulnar nerve was 0.21 cm2 above the medial epicondyle, 0.30 cm2 at the medial epicondyle, and 0.20 cm2 at the flexor aponeurotic origin ( P < .001). There was an inverse correlation between change in nerve diameter and NCV slowing ( r = −0.529, P < .001). Conclusions: For patients with significantly reduced preoperative NCV and clinical findings of advanced ulnar neuropathy, surgeons can expect nerve enlargement, all of which may affect their surgical decision-making.

2010 ◽  
Vol 63 (9-10) ◽  
pp. 601-606 ◽  
In-Ho Jeon ◽  
Ivan Micic ◽  
Byung-Woo Lee ◽  
Seong-Man Lee ◽  
Poong-Tak Kim ◽  

Cubital tunnel syndrome is one of the most frequently occurring compression neuropathy in the upper limb next to carpal tunnel syndrome. Recent minimal invasive technique has prompted us to gain clinical experience with simple in situ decompression with minimal skin incision for idiopathic cubital tunnel syndrome. Sixty six consecutive patients with cubital tunnel syndrome were treated using minimal skin incision technique. The mean age of the patients was 49.7 (range: 15-77) years and average follow up period was 23.9 months (range: 12-60 months). The severity of ulnar neuropathy was classified according to the McGowan classification: there were 17 in grade I , 47 in grade II and 2 in grade III. A preoperative nerve conduction study was done by inching method, which revealed motor conduction delay around the medial epicondyle. All operations were carried out in a day surgery unit under local anesthetics. The postoperative outcome was evaluated by Messina classification. The mean duration of the operation was 12 minutes. The technique was highly satisfactorily esthetic for all. Over 80% of the patients were completely satisfied with the procedure taking into consideration their symptoms. Postoperative outcome measures and patient satisfactions (pain, return to normal activities and work, scar and pillar tenderness) were comparable with published series of anterior transposition. The overall satisfactory results were recorded 81% in the patients of McGowan stage I and II. There were 2 cases of hematoma as a postoperative complication. This procedure is comparably effective alternative which involves less surgical trauma, morbidity and rehabilitation time with good surgical outcomes especially in mild and moderate degrees. Minimal skin incision is a simple, safe and effective method to treat patients with idiopathic cubital tunnel syndrome.

1998 ◽  
Vol 23 (5) ◽  
pp. 613-616 ◽  
A. ASAMI ◽  

Anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve is a widely used treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome, but neurolysis performed at the time of surgery may impair the blood supply to the ulnar nerve. This study compared the results of intramuscular anterior transposition of the ulnar nerve with or without preserving the extrinsic vessels of the ulnar nerve in 35 patients. The postoperative nerve conduction velocity and the clinical results were better in the group in which the extrinsic vessels were presented.

Hand ◽  
2018 ◽  
Vol 14 (4) ◽  
pp. 477-482
Nicholas Kim ◽  
Ryan Stehr ◽  
Hani S. Matloub ◽  
James R. Sanger

Background: Cubital tunnel syndrome is a common compressive neuropathy of the upper extremity. The anconeus epitrochlearis muscle is an unusual but occasional contributor. We review our experience with this anomalous muscle in elbows with cubital tunnel syndrome. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed charts of 13 patients noted to have an anconeus epitrochlearis muscle associated with cubital tunnel syndrome. Results: Ten patients had unilateral ulnar neuropathy supported by nerve conduction studies. Three had bilateral cubital tunnel syndrome symptoms with 1 of those having normal nerve conduction studies for both elbows. Eight elbows were treated with myotomy of the anconeus epitrochlearis muscle and submuscular transposition of the ulnar nerve. The other 8 elbows were treated with myotomy of the anconeus epitrochlearis muscle and in situ decompression of the ulnar nerve only. All but 1 patient had either clinical resolution or improvement of symptoms at follow-up ranging from 2 weeks to 1 year after surgery. The 1 patient who had persistent symptoms had received myotomy and in situ decompression of the ulnar nerve only. Conclusions: An anomalous anconeus epitrochlearis occasionally results in compression of the ulnar nerve but is usually an incidental finding. Its contribution to compression neuropathy can be tested intraoperatively by passively ranging the elbow while observing the change in vector and tension of its muscle fibers over the ulnar nerve. Regardless of findings, we recommend myotomy of the muscle and in situ decompression of the ulnar nerve. Submuscular transposition of the ulnar nerve may be necessary if there is subluxation.

2019 ◽  
Vol 14 (3) ◽  
pp. 519
Zhen Dong ◽  
Jin-Song Tong ◽  
Bin Xu ◽  
Cheng-Gang Zhang ◽  
Yu-Dong Gu

2020 ◽  
Vol 29 (4) ◽  
pp. e173
Joost T.P. Kortlever ◽  
Berdien Brandsema ◽  
Meijuan Zhao ◽  
David C. Ring

Hand ◽  
2019 ◽  
pp. 155894471984075
Daniel J. Shubert ◽  
Joseph Prud’homme ◽  
Shafic Sraj

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