Comparing the running subcuticular technique versus the Donati technique in open carpal tunnel release: a randomized controlled trial

J Orthop Surg Res. 2021 Sep 17;16(1):565. doi: 10.1186/s13018-021-02710-0.


Background: There are various skin suture techniques for wound closure following carpal tunnel release, and well-performed suturing will result in low post-operative scar tenderness. The aim of this study was to compare the Donati suture technique and running subcuticular technique in terms of surgical scar, post-operative pain and functional outcome in open carpal tunnel release.

Methods: One-hundred forty-two patients were randomized using a computer-generated random number table into two groups receiving either running subcuticular suturing or Donati suturing after surgical intervention. We evaluated postoperative scarring using the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS), pain intensity using a verbal numerical rating scale, and functional outcomes using the Thai version of the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire after surgical decompression for carpal tunnel syndrome at 2, 6, and 12 weeks. Continuous data are reported as mean ± SD while normally distributed or as median (interquartile range) when the distribution was skewed.

Results: Lower scores at 2 weeks were given by the patients receiving the running subcuticular suture technique than the Donati suture technique (15.3 ± 4.8 vs 17 ± 4.6, respectively, P < 0.05) while the observer scores were not significantly different (15.6 ± 5.8 vs 16.7 ± 5.2, respectively, P = 0.15). At both 6 and 12 weeks post-surgical decompression both patient and observer scores were not significantly different. There were no differences between the groups in terms of VNRS pain scores and functional Boston Carpal Tunnel Scores at all time points.

Conclusions: This randomized controlled trial found that although scarring assessments were slightly better in the earliest period following wound closure after surgical decompression in carpal tunnel syndrome using the running subcuticular suture, the final results at 3 months postoperative were not significantly different.

Trial registration: The study was registered at (TCTR20191204002).

Keywords: Carpal tunnel; Functional outcome; POSAS; Scar; Scar evaluation; VAS score; Wound closure.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome* / surgery
  • Cicatrix* / etiology
  • Cicatrix* / pathology
  • Cicatrix* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Suture Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome