The optimal treatment for cubital tunnel syndrome is widely debated. The purpose of this study is to describe the technique of an endoscopic-assisted ulnar nerve decompression using carbon dioxide insufflation in association with subcutaneous anterior transposition and to assess the success or failure of the method of treatment.Methods:
In all, 8 male and 4 female patients with an average age of 42 years (range, 25–56) who presented signs, symptoms, and abnormal neurophysiological studies of cubital tunnel syndrome were recruited in the retrospective study. Between August 2008 and June 2009, they were operated on using a 0-degree lens endoscope. Preoperatively, they were classified according to the Dellon scale, and the Bishop rating system was used to evaluate the postoperative outcomes.Results:
Preoperatively, 5 patients were rated as mild, another 5 as moderate, and the remaining 2 as severe. The average length of the incision was 15 ± 3 mm, the mean length of the ulnar nerve decompression was 18 ± 2 cm, and the whole duration of surgery (skin to skin) lasted 30 ± 5 minutes. The endoscopic-assisted cubital tunnel release under carbon dioxide insufflation and subcutaneous anterior transposition surgeries in all patients were performed with no difficulty. All the patients had improvement in symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome and 10 of 12 patients scored excellent according to the modified Bishop Rating System at a minimum of 1 year after surgery.Conclusions:
Endoscopy-assisted cubital tunnel release under carbon dioxide insufflation demonstrated similar results compared with conventional open surgeries, besides, it may avoid problems such as long incision, painful scarring, and have additional advantages of providing an extended endoscopic view, which is safe and mini-invasive with favorable results in a 12-month follow-up.