Pain is typical reason for ER, urgent care visits after outpatient carpal tunnel release
NEW ORLEANS — The unplanned ER or urgent care visits patients have within 7 days of undergoing outpatient carpal tunnel release are rare events that an investigator here said are measurable and can usually be avoided through better pain management practices.
According to a presentation by Abtin A. Foroohar, MD, at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, carpal tunnel release (CTR) was associated with fewer unplanned ER and urgent care visits vs. other common outpatient orthopedic procedures.
Foroohar and his colleagues collected data for unplanned ER and urgent visits that patients had within 7 days of outpatient surgery from a closed medical care system from June 2015 to May 2016. They identified 1,829 outpatient CTR procedures and 5,302 other outpatient orthopedic procedures, which included rotator cuff repair, knee arthroscopy and ACL reconstruction.
“We found there was a greater proportion of female patients and older patients within the 1,829 carpal tunnels that were collected as opposed to other procedures,” Foroohar said.
“Moreover, we found that carpal tunnel release had fewer urgent care and emergency room visits within 7 days compared to all the other outpatient orthopedic surgeries,” he said.
Pain was the one problem that most often led to a post-CTR ER or urgent care visit.
“Therefore, unplanned emergency room visits within 7 days are very low, but they are measurable, and they are avoidable,” Foroohar said.
“These findings allow for us to plan to mitigate the avoidable visits now that the most common diagnosis is established ... ,” he said. – by Susan M. Rapp
Foroohar AA, et al. Paper #94. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 6-10, 2018; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Foroohar reports no relevant financial disclosures.