The Role of Electrophysiological Severity Scales for Decision-making with Regard to Surgery in Idiopathic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Takako Kanatani, Issei Nagura, Yoshifumi Harada, Masatoshi Sumi
2017 Kobe J. Med. Sci   unpublished
The distribution of electrophysiological severity of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in an outpatient setting and whether electrophysiological severity could be an objective tool for decision-making regarding choice of surgery were investigated. During conservative treatment, 1079 outpatients with idiopathic CTS were classified according to the electrophysiological severity scale (Stage 1-5). The results were provided to the patients and explained, but they were not indicated a treatment protocol
more » ... treatment protocol intentionally. We recommended surgery to those outpatients who presented with difficulty in pinching due to severe thenar atrophy and/ or showing poor response to conservative treatment. However, the decision-making of surgical or nonsurgical treatment remained with patients. In the distribution of severity stages, Stage 4 was the most common (34%). Two hands were not classifiable. Surgery was chosen in 443 of 1077 hands (41.1%): The operation selection rate increased with severity of the stage and the patients with Stage 5 showed the greatest preference among Stage 1-5 (p<0.0001). This was shown in both female and male groups in gender analysis, and in both ≤ 69 y.o. and ≥70 y.o. groups in the age analysis. There was no significant difference between female and male hands, and ≤ 69 y.o. and ≥70 y.o. hands. Among varied reasons for the decision-making process for surgical treatment in CTS, electrophysiological severity scale plays an important role as an objective tool without being influenced by subjective elements; gender and age.