Human Amniotic Membrane Wrapping of the Ulnar Nerve During Cubital Tunnel Surgery Reduces Recurrence of Symptoms

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


1 1 Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Baldwin Park, CA, USA 2 USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2 USC Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA

3 Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA

4 Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Baldwin Park, CA, USA

5 Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Anaheim, CA, USA


Background: Compare the recurrence rate of paresthesias in patients undergoing primary cubital tunnel surgery in
those with and without wrapping of the ulnar nerve with the human amniotic membrane (HAM).
Methods: A retrospective investigation of patients undergoing primary cubital tunnel surgery with a minimum
90-day follow-up was performed. Patients were excluded if the nerve was wrapped using another material, associated traumatic injury,
simultaneous Guyon’s canal release, or revision procedures. Failure was defined as those patients who experienced
initial complete resolution of symptoms (paresthesias) but then developed recurrence of paresthesias.
Results: A total of 57 controls (CON) and 21 treated with HAM met our inclusion criteria. There was a difference in
the mean age of CON (48.4 ± 13.5 years) and HAM (30.6 ± 15) (P< 0.0001). There was no difference in gender mix
(P=0.4), the severity of symptoms (P=0.13), and length of follow-up (P=0.084). None of 21 (0%) treated with HAM
developed recurrence of symptoms compared to 11 of 57 (19.3%) (P=0.03) (CON). Using a multivariate regression
model adjusted for age and procedure type, CON was 24.4 (95% CI=1.26-500, P=0.0348) times higher risk than HAM
of developing a recurrence of symptoms.
Conclusion: The HAM wrapping used in primary cubital tunnel surgery significantly reduced recurrence rates of
paresthesias. Further prospective studies with randomization should be carried out to better understand the role HAM
can play in cubital tunnel surgery.
Level of evidence: III


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