Patient-reported outcomes after in situ cubital tunnel decompression: a report in 77 patients

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2020 Jan;45(1):51-55. doi: 10.1177/1753193419882853. Epub 2019 Oct 30.


This prospective single-centre study describes the patient-reported outcomes following open in situ decompression for cubital tunnel syndrome. The Quick version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire and patient satisfaction scores were collected over a 3-year period. Outcomes were available for 77 patients at a mean of 17 months (11-27 months) postoperatively. The mean scores improved significantly from 39 to 30 postoperatively. The score change correlated strongly and significantly with postoperative satisfaction. Sixty-six patients (86%) were satisfied. Patients with clinical evidence of weakness at presentation had significantly lower satisfaction scores than those without. By reporting functional improvement and high levels of patient satisfaction in a large series, this study supports the use of in situ decompression for cubital tunnel syndrome. The outcomes for the patients with weakness and atrophy of ulnar nerve innervated muscles before surgery are less satisfactory. Level of evidence: III.

Keywords: Cubital tunnel syndrome; functional outcomes; in situ cubital tunnel decompression; patient reported outcomes; satisfaction; ulnar nerve.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome / surgery*
  • Decompression, Surgical*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult