Patient-Reported Outcomes and Function after Surgical Repair of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament of the Thumb

Ingmar W.F. Legerstee*, Mark J.W. van der Oest, the Hand-Wrist Study Group, J. Sebastiaan Souer, Caroline A. Hundepool, Liron S. Duraku, Ruud W. Selles, J. Michiel Zuidam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to report prospectively collected patient-reported outcomes of patients who underwent open thumb ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) repair and to find risk factors associated with poor patient-reported outcomes. Methods: Patients undergoing open surgical repair for a complete thumb UCL rupture were included between December 2011 and February 2021. Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire (MHQ) total scores at baseline were compared to MHQ total scores at three and 12 months after surgery. Associations between the 12-month MHQ total score and several variables (i.e., sex, injury to surgery time, K-wire immobilization) were analyzed. Results: Seventy-six patients were included. From baseline to three and 12 months after surgery, patients improved significantly with a mean MHQ total score of 65 (standard deviation [SD] 15) to 78 (SD 14) and 87 (SD 12), respectively. We did not find any differences in outcomes between patients who underwent surgery in the acute (<3 weeks) setting compared to a delayed setting (<6 months). Conclusions: We found that patient-reported outcomes improve significantly at three and 12 months after open surgical repair of the thumb UCL compared to baseline. We did not find an association between injury to surgery time and lower MHQ total scores. This suggests that acute repair for full-thickness UCL tears might not always be necessary. Type of study/level of evidence: Therapeutic II.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-787
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank all patients who have filled out questionnaires as part of their clinical care and who have agreed that their data could be used anonymously for the present study. In addition, we thank the members of the Hand-Wrist Study Group, caregivers, and personnel of Xpert Clinic, Handtherapie Nederland, and Equipe Zorgbedrijven for assisting in the routine outcome measurements that are the basis for this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Society for Surgery of the Hand


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