Hypercholesterolemia Is Associated with the Subjective Evaluation of Postoperative Outcomes in Patients with Idiopathic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Who Undergo Surgery: A Multivariate Analysis

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Abstract

Background:

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression neuropathy of the median nerve at the wrist; its symptoms include neuropathic pain and sensory and motor disturbance distributed by the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome and hypercholesterolemia have similar backgrounds, but the effect of these similarities on postoperative outcomes has not been reported. Using multivariate analysis, the authors analyzed the relationship between prognostic factors, including the presence of hypercholesterolemia, and subjective postoperative outcomes of patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome.

Methods:

Of 168 hands with carpal tunnel syndrome that were treated surgically, 141 that were followed up and assessed 1 year postoperatively or thereafter were included. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 40.8 months. Surgery was performed through a small palmar skin incision under local anesthesia. The outcomes were postoperative symptoms, including pain and numbness, and overall Kelly assessment.

Results:

Preoperative numbness and pain resolved and alleviated in 94 of 141 hands and was diminished in 59 of 64 hands. Univariate analysis showed that postoperative numbness and Kelly assessment were significantly associated with hypercholesterolemia. Multivariate analysis showed that postoperative numbness was significantly associated with smoking and hypercholesterolemia, and Kelly assessment was significantly associated with smoking (adjusted OR, 3.3; 95 percent CI, 1.1 to 10; p = 0.04) and hypercholesterolemia (adjusted OR, 2.9; 95 percent CI, 1.4 to 6.3; p = 0.01).

Conclusion:

Hypercholesterolemia, usually a systemic condition in sites other than the hand, is associated with the subjective evaluation of postoperative symptoms in patients with idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Risk, III.

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