Cold sensitivity, functional disability and predicting factors after a repaired digital nerve injury

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To investigate self-reported cold sensitivity and functional disability after a repaired digital nerve injury. We identified 3204 individuals operated with digital nerve repair in the Swedish national quality registry for hand surgery (HAKIR). Patient-reported symptoms, including cold sensitivity and perceived disability, were examined using two questionnaires (HQ-8 and QuickDASH), three and 12 months postoperatively. Patients with diabetes (n = 48; 3%) were identified in the Swedish National Diabetes Register (NDR). Cold sensitivity (scored 0–100) was the most prominent symptom among 1553 included individuals (998 men, 555 women; median age 41 [IQR 27–54] years). In the regression analysis, flexor tendon injury, hand fracture and injury to multiple structures predicted worsened cold sensitivity (6.9, 15.5 and 25.0 points; p = 0.005, 0.046 and < 0.001) at 12 months. Individuals with moderate (30–70) and severe (> 70) cold sensitivity had higher QuickDASH scores at three and 12 months postoperatively than individuals with mild cold sensitivity (6.0 and 5.5; 19.8 and 21.0 points; p = 0.001). Flexor tendon injury, injuries to multiple structures and diabetes had significant effect on QuickDASH scores at three, but not at 12, months postoperatively. Cold sensitivity is common after a digital nerve repair and impacts self-reported disability. A concomitant injury, particularly multiple injuries, predicts postoperative cold sensitivity.

TidskriftScientific Reports
StatusPublished - 2022

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