Revision Carpal Tunnel Release With Umbilical Cord Allograft: A Four-Year Retrospective Cohort Study


Background: Refractory symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can persist or reoccur after carpal tunnel release (CTR) surgery in 1% to 25% of patients, with up to 12% of patients requiring secondary surgery. If revision surgery is required, the results are much less successful compared to primary surgery. In this study, we investigated whether cryopreserved human umbilical cord allograft placement during CTR revision surgery improved short- and long-term surgical outcomes. Methods: We conducted a single-center cohort analysis of patients between January 2015 and July 2018 who underwent secondary open revision CTR with umbilical cord allograft for recurrent or persistent compression neuropathy of the median nerve. Surgical outcomes of patients in the study group-reduction of pain, paresthesia, and weakness; complications; and Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (QuickDASH) scores-were compared to the outcomes of controls without umbilical cord allograft use who were operated on by the same surgeon between December 2011 and September 2015. Results: A total of 37 patients underwent CTR with (n=26) and without (n=11) umbilical cord allograft (mean follow-up of 4 years). Following surgery, preoperative symptoms of pain (96% vs 73%, P=0.048) and paresthesia (100% vs 73%, P=0.014) were significantly improved in the patients who received umbilical cord allograft. Mean QuickDASH scores (19.0 vs 23.7, P=0.58) and preoperative weakness (90% vs 67%, P=0.14) were improved in the patients who received umbilical cord allograft but were nonsignificant. Short- and long-term complications were similar between groups (P=0.56, P=0.51, respectively). Conclusion: This study suggests that human umbilical cord allograft placement during open revision CTR is safe and effective for improving long-term symptoms of compressive neuropathy in patients with recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Keywords: Allografts; carpal tunnel syndrome; median nerve; median neuropathy; reoperation; umbilical cord.


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