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The Effect of Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on Ultrasonographic Median Nerve Measures Before and After Wheelchair Propulsion

Impink, BG and Collinger, JL and Boninger, ML (2011) The Effect of Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome on Ultrasonographic Median Nerve Measures Before and After Wheelchair Propulsion. PM and R, 3 (9). 803 - 810. ISSN 1934-1482

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Objective: To quantify median nerve characteristics before and after strenuous wheelchair propulsion and relate them to symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). We hypothesized that persons with and without symptoms of CTS would have significantly different nerve characteristics at baseline and after propulsion. Design: A repeated-measures design was used to obtain ultrasound images of the median nerve at 3 levels of the wrist (radius, pisiform, and hamate) before and after wheelchair propulsion. Investigators were blinded to subject history related to CTS. Setting: The 2007 and 2008 National Veterans Wheelchair Games and the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. Participants: Fifty-four participants between the ages of 18 and 65 years with a nonprogressive disability who used a manual wheelchair as their primary means of mobility completed this study. Methods: Participants completed questionnaires regarding demographics and the presence and severity of symptoms of CTS. Ultrasound images of the median nerve were obtained before and after a 15-minute strenuous wheelchair-propulsion task. Main Outcome Measurements: Baseline values and post-propulsion changes were determined for median nerve cross-sectional area, flattening ratio, and swelling ratio. Differences in median nerve variables between symptomatic and asymptomatic groups were assessed. Results: No significant differences between symptom groups were identified at baseline; however, persons with symptoms of CTS showed a significantly different percent change from baseline compared with the asymptomatic participants for cross-sectional area at pisiform (P = .014) and flattening ratio at hamate (P = .022), and they showed a strong trend toward a difference in swelling ratio (P = .0502). For each of these variables, the change in the symptomatic group was in the opposite direction of the change in the asymptomatic group. Conclusions: We found several median nerve responses to wheelchair propulsion associated with symptoms of CTS. These responses occurred even though no baseline ultrasound difference was found based on symptoms. Future research is necessary to determine how propulsion characteristics (ie, force, repetition, and posture) affect the median nerve response. © 2011 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Impink, BG
Collinger, JLcollinger@pitt.eduCOLLINGR0000-0002-4517-5395
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER0000-0001-6966-919X
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 September 2011
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PM and R
Volume: 3
Number: 9
Page Range: 803 - 810
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2011.04.009
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1934-1482
MeSH Headings: Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome--etiology; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome--ultrasonography; Female; Humans; Male; Median Nerve--ultrasonography; Middle Aged; Wheelchairs; Young Adult
PubMed ID: 21944298
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 20:57
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 20:55


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