Soft tissue surgery for upper extremity contractures can improve hygiene, pain, and appearance in adults with central nervous system lesions. The goal of such interventions is highly individual; thus, goal attainment scaling (GAS; a method of scoring the extent to which patient’s individual goals are achieved [5 levels] in the course of intervention and using T score values) is pertinent to evaluate outcome. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of soft tissue surgery for upper extremity muscle contractures in patients with central nervous system lesions using GAS.
Retrospective data from 70 interventions were included (63 patients; 23 women). The mean age was 51.3 ± 16.2 years (range, 24.2–87.0 years). The primary goal was to improve hygiene (n = 58), pain (n = 10), or appearance (n = 2). The etiologies were stroke (n = 35), traumatic brain injury (n = 16), cerebral anoxia (n = 4), neurodegenerative disease (n = 6), and cerebral palsy (n = 2). The GAS score was calculated before surgery and 3 months after surgery.
The T score (which took into account the weight of each goal) was 52.3 at 3 months (38.5 before surgery), corresponding to a “better than expected” outcome. The mean of the differences of the GAS score for each goal before and after surgery increased by 1.27 for hygiene, 1.06 for pain, and 1.00 for appearance.
Soft tissue surgery can safely and effectively improve hygiene, pain, and appearance in adults with cerebral damage. The preoperative evaluation should be multidisciplinary. The GAS is a useful tool to assess the effectiveness of orthopedic surgery for these patients.
Type of study/level of evidence
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Published online: September 19, 2017
Accepted: August 1, 2017
Received: June 10, 2016
The authors received financial support from Allergan SA (Courbevoie, France), Merz Pharma (Paris La Défense, France), and Ipsen Pharma (Boulogne Billancourt, France).
© 2017 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. All rights reserved.