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Occupational prognosis factors for ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow A systematic review

Abstract : Although ulnar nerve entrapment is the second most common entrapment neuropathy, there is a dearth of studies identifying occupational prognosis factors. We carried out a systematic review of the occupational prognosis factors for ulnar nerve entrapment in order to identify professions at risks and allow better follow-up for their workers. Using the key words, "ulnar OR cubital", "neuropathy OR tunnel", and "work OR occupational" without limitations, original prospective studies were selected from four databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library) after two rounds (valid design, valid prognosis outcome reported, valid work exposure). Associations between prognosis for ulnar neuropathy and occupational factors were extracted and analyzed qualitatively. Dating from 1981 to 2013, three prospective studies were included; 1420 cases of ulnar nerve entrapment were followed for an average of 4 years and occupational exposure was retrieved. The only high-quality study (related to this question) found a significant relationship between occupational exposure and prognosis with an odds ratio for ulnar nerve entrapment of 1.78 (1.10-2.88). The two other studies were less focused on the occupational prognosis factors; one found that work activity requiring effort had worse prognosis after surgery, while the other found no significant relationship between occupational hand exposure and prognosis. Occupations requiring high effort may be associated with more severe ulnar neuropathies, but further studies (exposure as well as associated disorders) are mandatory for clinicians to provide work task information to their patients.
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Contributor : Laurent Jonchère <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 10:08:03 AM
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M Fadel, R Lancigu, G Raimbeau, Y Roquelaure, A Descatha. Occupational prognosis factors for ulnar nerve entrapment at the elbow A systematic review. Hand Surgery and Rehabilitation, Elsevier, 2017, 36 (4), pp.244-249. ⟨10.1016/j.hansur.2017.03.004⟩. ⟨hal-01881586⟩



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