Carpal tunnel syndrome grading system in rheumatoid arthritis

Junko Shinoda, Hiroyuki Hashizume, Cherie McCown, Masuo Senda, Keiichiro Nishida, Takeshi Doi, Hajime Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The grading system of Hashizume and Hirooka for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) was modified to refine the system for surgical treatment selection for specific subsets of CTS in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The grading system uses clinical signs and symptoms of CTS, including pain indications, to identify surgical subsets of patients to facilitate treatment selection. Retrospective analysis of the system included radiographic and electromyographic findings. Twenty-nine hands of 21 adult patients with CTS in RA were graded in the current study. Eight hands with mild synovitis received conservative treatment only. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR), using Okutsu's universal subcutaneous endoscopic system with a clear cannula, was performed in 11 hands with moderate synovitis. Open carpal tunnel release (OCTR) combined with flexor tenosynovectomy was performed in 9 hands with severe synovitis. One more hand required OCTR after ECTR when malignant RA was diagnosed. Clinical results, evaluated using Kelly's criteria, were: excellent in 19 hands, good in 5, fair in 4, and poor in the 1 patient with malignant RA. Clinical symptoms of CTS improved in all but the latter patient. Although the sample size in the current study is small, the results appear to warrant further study to determine the clinical utility of the grading system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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