Background: We undertook a prospective study to investigate relationships between outcome measures of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow. Methods: Thirty-one patients (mean age 52.6, range 20-80), with clinically and electrically verified ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, were seen independently by a neurosurgeon and a physiotherapist. All tests were administered to all patients on each visit. Data collected included measures of sensory (monofilament, two-point discrimination, vibration) and motor function (grip, key-pinch, muscle atrophy), pain (visual analogue scale (VAS)) and impact on lifestyle (Levine's questionnaires (function status score - FSS, symptom severity score - SSS)), disability of the arm, shoulder and hand module (DASH) and patient-specific measures (PSM). Parametric and non-parametric correlation and factor analysis were done. Results: Outcome analysis was available for 63 patient visits, with follow-up obtained for 20 patients (mean 8.5 months). Lifestyle and pain instruments (FSS, SSS, DASH, PSM and VAS) all correlated well with each other (r> 0.6, p<. 01). DASH was moderately to highly correlated to nine of the 11 measures. Some tests correlated poorly, for example, Semmes-Weinstein monofilament with other sensory measures and muscle atrophy with almost all measures. Factor analysis revealed that there are two principal factors, accounting for 77% of the variance. Factor 1 relates to impact on lifestyle and pain while Factor 2 relates to strength and function. Discussion/Conclusions: Intraclass measures, particularly ones assessing lifestyle and pain instruments are strongly correlated. Factor analysis revealed two principal factors that account for the majority of the variance; future studies with a larger sample size are needed to validate this analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology