Full Length Article| Volume 35, ISSUE 3, P461-467, July 2022

Is superficial radial nerve affected in patients with hand osteoarthritis?

  • Ebru Umay
    Corresponding author. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Dışkapı Yıdırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Altındağ, Ankara 06170, Turkey. Tel.: +903125962000; fax: +903123276823.
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Dışkapı Yıdırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Eda Gurcay
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gaziler Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Azize Serce
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Dışkapı Yıdırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Ibrahim Gundogdu
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Dışkapı Yıdırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
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  • Cuma Uz
    Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Ankara Dışkapı Yıdırım Beyazıt Training and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences Turkey, Ankara, Turkey
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Published:January 11, 2021DOI:


      • Patients with SRN neuropathy have pain and abnormal sensation on the hand similar to hand OA.
      • Pain and sensory symptoms in patients with hand OA may be due to the SRN.
      • Radiological involvement, synovitis, and 1st extensor compartment of wrist's CSA are independent risk factors for SRN neuropathy.



      Patients with superficial radial neuropathy (SRN) have pain and abnormal sensation on the hand similar to hand osteoarthritis (HOA).

      Purpose of the Study

      The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of SRN in patients with HOA and to determine the factors associated with electrophysiological parameters of the radial nerve.

      Study Design

      This is a case–control study.


      A total of 138 patients were included in this study. Only the dominant hand of each patient was evaluated. Patients were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 (without SRN) or Group 2 (with SRN) by electrophysiological examination. The presence of osteoarthritis in the first carpometacarpal (1st CMC) joint was investigated. Radiological features of the hands were evaluated with Kellgren–Lawrence grading system. Sonographically, the presence of synovitis in the 1st CMC joint was examined with gray scale and synovial blood flow signal by power Doppler imaging. Erosion and osteophyte scoring were performed for 15 joints. The 1st extensor compartment of wrist's cross-sectional area was measured.


      SRN was detected in 68.8% of the patients. High Kellgren–Lawrence scores (P = .027), presence of synovitis in the 1st CMC joint (P = .003), and increased cross-sectional area of the 1st extensor compartment of wrist (P = .005) were found to be independent risk factors for reduced superficial radial nerve conduction velocity.


      Sensory symptoms in patients with HOA might be due to the involvement of the superficial branch of the radial nerve.


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      JHT Read for Credit

      Quiz: # 873

      Record your answers on the Return Answer Form found on the tear-out coupon at the back of this issue or to complete online and use a credit card, go to There is only one best answer for each question.
      • # 1.
        In addition to screening for SRN involvement, the following were evaluated
        • a.
          cross-sectional area of the 1st dorsal compartment
        • b.
          X-ray of the CMC
        • c.
          synovitis of the CMC
        • d.
          all of the above
      • # 2.
        The presence of SRN involvement was determined by
        • a.
          MRI examination
        • b.
          Hx taking
        • c.
          electrophysiological examination
        • d.
          M2Pd testing
      • # 3.
        Doppler activity suggesting active inflammation was
        • a.
          not associated with radiological damage
        • b.
          strongly associated with radiological damage
        • c.
          not a part of the study
        • d.
          was negative in all patients
      • # 4.
        There was a fair correlation between SNR involvement and
        • a.
          only X-ray findings
        • b.
          multiple concomitant factors
        • c.
          only cross-sectional area of the 1st dorsal compartment
        • d.
          none of the above
      • # 5.
        The authors demonstrated that virtually all patients with active CMC OA have marked SRN involvement
        • a.
        • b.
      When submitting to the HTCC for re-certification, please batch your JHT RFC certificates in groups of 3 or more to get full credit.