Duration of Postoperative Dressing After Mini-Open Carpal Tunnel Release: A Prospective, Randomized Trial.
Author(s): Ritting AW, Leger R, O'Malley MP, Mogielnicki H, Tucker R, Rodner CM
Affiliation(s): Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical Arts and Research Building, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT.
Publication date & source: 2011-11-29, J Hand Surg Am., [Epub ahead of print]
PURPOSE: In this prospective, randomized, controlled study, we hypothesized that there would be no difference in short-term functional, subjective, and blinded wound outcome measures between patients treated after mini-open carpal tunnel release (CTR) with a postoperative bulky dressing for 2 weeks and those with dressing removal and placement of an adhesive strip after 48 to 72 hours. METHODS: A total of 94 consecutive patients underwent mini-open CTR and placement of a bulky dressing and were randomized to either bandage removal at 48 to 72 hours with placement of an adhesive strip or continuation of the postoperative dressing until initial follow-up at approximately 2 weeks. We evaluated patient demographics, Levine-Katz scores, range of motion, strength, and a blinded assessment of wound healing at approximately 2 weeks and between 6 and 12 weeks. We conducted paired and independent sample t-tests to evaluate for statistical significance. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in Levine-Katz scores between groups at either the first follow-up or final visit. One patient with a longer dressing duration had evidence of a wound dehiscence. CONCLUSIONS: Removal of a bulky dressing after mini-open CTR and replacement with an adhesive strip at 48 to 72 hours causes no wound complications and results in equal short-term clinical and subjective outcome measures compared with using a bulky dressing for 2 weeks. TYPE OF STUDY/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic I. Copyright (c) 2011 American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.