Validation of a one-stop carpal tunnel clinic including nerve conduction studies and hand therapy.
Ball C., Pearse M., Kennedy D., Hall A., Nanchahal J.
INTRODUCTION: Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common hand disorder. We describe a pathway that includes clinical assessment, neurophysiological testing, surgery and physical therapy all at the same visit. METHODS: All referrals for carpal tunnel syndrome were screened for inclusion in a 'one-stop' surgeon-led clinic. Prospective clinical data collected included patient reported outcome measures and satisfaction scores, touch threshold, pinch and grip strength. Patients were assessed clinically, underwent nerve conduction studies and surgery as indicated, all on the same day. Baseline and one-year follow-up data were analysed for 57 patients (62 hands). RESULTS: There was significant improvement in all domains of the Boston Carpal Tunnel and Michigan hand Outcomes questionnaires, grip strength and touch threshold. There were no adverse events. The total mean operating time was 12.8 minutes (range: 5-15 minutes) and the mean tourniquet time was 2.5 minutes (range: 1-11 minutes). Using a dual theatre model produced a short mean turnaround time of 14.8 minutes (range: 2-37 minutes). Patient satisfaction as judged using a Picker questionnaire was very high. CONCLUSIONS: A highly efficient clinical service involving both diagnostics and treatment can be delivered at a single hospital visit while maintaining optimal outcomes and high patient satisfaction.