Median Nerve Transverse Mobility and Outcome after Carpal Tunnel Release

Verena J.M.M. Schrier, Stefanie Evers, Jennifer R. Geske, Walter K. Kremers, Hector R. Villarraga, Sanjeev Kakar, Ruud W. Selles, Steven E.R. Hovius, Russell Gelfman, Peter C. Amadio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nerve movement is decreased in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome and can be assessed with ultrasound. In addition to morphologic features, this study describes a novel approach in which nerve movement and the association with short-term patient-reported outcome are assessed. Ultrasound images at the carpal tunnel inlet were acquired during finger and wrist flexion. Linear regression models were used with the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire as main outcome. Eighty-five patients were included; 93% completed the 3-mo follow-up. Pre-surgical mean nerve area was 14.5 ± 4.2 mm2 and decreased to 13.3 ± 3.8 mm2 (p < 0.001). Displacement in dorsal direction with wrist flexion increased from 1.9 ± 1.3 to 2.4 ± 1.3 mm (p < 0.01). A pre-surgical larger nerve area was associated with more functional improvement (β = –0.024, p = 0.02), but baseline mobility was not. Change in excursion with finger flexion was associated with symptomatic improvement, but with a small effect (β = –0.05, p = 0.01). This indicates that there is limited prognostic potential for dynamic transverse ultrasound in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2887-2897
Number of pages11
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dynamic ultrasound
  • Nerve mobility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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