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The effect of anthropometric characteristics and electronic device use on median nerve cross-sectional area: A cross-sectional study

J Hand Ther. 2023 Mar 11:S0894-1130(22)00105-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jht.2022.10.009. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to identify the relationship between age, body mass index (BMI), weight, height, and wrist circumference and median nerve cross-sectional area (CSA). The study also aimed to examine the difference between CSA in individuals reporting a high amount (>4 hours per day) of electronic device use compared to those reporting a low amount (≤4 hours per day).

MATERIALS/METHODS: One hundred twelve healthy individuals volunteered to participate in the study. Anthropometric, demographic, and self-reported electronic device usage data were collected. A transverse image of the median nerve was captured using ultrasonography from the dominant wrist at the carpal tunnel inlet . A Spearman’s rho correlation coefficient was used to examine correlations between participant characteristics (age, BMI, weight, height, and wrist circumference) and CSA. Separate Mann-Whitney U tests were used to examine differences in CSA in those younger and older than age 40, in those with BMI <25 kg/m2 and BMI ≥25 kg/m2, and in high and low-frequency device users.

RESULTS: BMI, weight, and wrist circumference showed fair correlations with CSA. There were significant differences in CSA between individuals younger than 40 and those older than 40 and between individuals with BMI <25kg/m2 and those with BMI ≥25kg/m2. There were no statistically significant differences in CSA in the low- and high-use electronic device groups.

DISCUSSION: Anthropometric and demographic characteristics including age and BMI or weight should be considered when examining the CSA of the median nerve, especially when determining cut-off points for establishing a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.

PMID:36914492 | DOI:10.1016/j.jht.2022.10.009

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