Diagnostic Ability to Differentiate between Ulnar Neuropathy and C8-T1 Radiculopathy: A Survey of 26 Indian Orthopedic Surgeons

Tiwari Gopal, Sharma Shalini
2016 International Journal of Contemporary Medical Research   unpublished
There is large morbidity in the Indian population in relation to the orthopedic problems so we did the study to evaluate the importance of continuous medical education in retaining diagnostic efficiency of Indian Orthopaedic Surgeons by surveying their ability to differentiate between ulnar neuropathy and C8-T1 radiculopathy. Material and Methods: 26 orthopedic surgeons who got masters degree completed a questionnaire containing following questions about the topic. (1) where is the sensory loss
more » ... is the sensory loss in ulnar neuropathy when it is injured at elbow? (2) The muscles specifically weak in ulnar neuropathy but intact in C8-T1 radiculopathy? Results: Sixteen of the 26 (53%) correctly answered the first question-that is ulnar neuropathy at elbow causes sensory loss only over the small and ring fingers. Nobody except one was able to identify all the 7 muscles innervated by ulnar nerve. And that exceptional one was in the category of less than 3 years of experience after obtaining degree. Only 3 participants correctlly answered the muscles innervated by ulnar nerve (not all) without naming C8-T1 root supplied muscles. Conclusion: Since all the participants were qualified orthopaedic surgeons but differ in their field experience and touch from the college education. Our study revealed surprising deterioration in basic anatomy knowledge and diagnostic ability to differentiate between ulnar neuropathy and C8-T1 radiculopathy after passing out from college educational system. This mandates the importance of continuous medical education involving practicing orthopaedic surgeons.