Grip Strength as a Predictor for the Severity of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Female Patients

Ibrahim Amayyreh, Naheyah Almutaseb

Abstract


Objective to evaluate the role of grip strength measurement as a predictor for the severity of CTS in relation to EMG findings.

Methods: A prospective study was conducted at Prince Hashem bin Alhussein Hospital in Alzarqa/Jordan; in the time between Feb 2008 and June 2008.Twenty six consecutive female patients with positive EMG results were included in the study. They were interviewed regarding various risk factors including; associated illnesses; number of children, body mass index and repetitive strain. The presenting symptoms and the results of Tinel and Phalen tests were noted. Grip power was measured using a (Smedly type) hand held dynamometer. Lastly, the results of the nerve conduction studies were examined in relation to grip strength. We have included a matching control group of healthy females to compare the grip power measurements.

Results: A total of 26 females with abnormal nerve conduction studies were included in the study. Mean age was 47.1years. Mean body mass index was 30. Mean number of children was 4.8 children. Numbness in all fingers was the most common presentation. Nerve conduction studies were reported as severe in 15 cases 57.7 %, moderate in 10 cases 38.9% and mild only in one case 3.8%. Mean grip power was 13 kg among patients with CTS whereas mean grip power among healthy controls was 21 kg. The more severe cases as proved by electrophysiological studies were having weaker hand grip.

Conclusions: Weak grip appears to be associated with CTS severity. We need to establish guidelines for the normal values in our population to aid in the screening process for carpal tunnel syndrome

Keywords


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Grip Strength, Parity, Body Mass Index, Nerve Conduction Studies.

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