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April 18, 1980

Postoperative Ulnar Neuropathy

JAMA. 1980;243(15):1525-1526. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300410013010

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To the Editor.—  This letter has been prompted by the recent article by Miller and Camp (242:1636, 1979), "Postoperative Ulnar Neuropathy." I agree with the last sentence: "Clearly, the thrust of treatment of this condition should be directed toward prevention." I have been interested in ulnar neuropathy for a number of years, and I want to express some thoughts in regard to prevention of further damage.The authors are silent in regard to events of the immediate postoperative period, and there is no information concerning the period of convalescence. I want to stress the importance of these two periods.After the surgery, if the patient complains of numbness in the fourth and fifth digits, he is usually told that the feeling will go away or that he has poor circulation. Even if the diagnosis of compressive ulnar neuropathy is strongly suspected, the specter of malpractice stills the tongue of the