Carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy at the elbow in floor cleaners

M. Mondelli, A. Grippo, M. Mariani, A. Baldasseroni, R. Ansuini, M. Ballerini, C. Bandinelli, M. Graziani, F. Luongo, R. Mancini, P. Manescalchi, S. Pellegrini, C. Sgarrella, F. Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine the occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE) in a cohort of floor cleaners and to check differences between workers with and without CTS. Methods: All female floor cleaners of three major hospitals in Tuscany (Italy) were contacted. Clinical and electrophysiological severity of CTS and UNE were evaluated with standardized scales and symptoms were assessed with the self-administered Boston Questionnaire (BQ); demographic and non-occupational factors and durations of current and previous occupations were recorded. Univariate analysis of risk factors was performed in workers with and without CTS. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the capacity of independent variables to predict CTS. Results: Out of a total of 179 cleaners, 145 (81%)-mean age 39.6 years (20-64 years)-were enrolled in the study; 70 (48%) had CTS (diagnosis based on clinical and electrophysiological findings). BQ symptom and hand function scores were anomalous in 108 (74%) and 84 (58%) subjects, respectively. UNE was detected in 7/103 women. Univariate analysis showed that cleaners with CTS were older, had greater BMI and longer exposure to cleaning with previous employers than those without CTS. In the logistic regression, the only predictor of CTS was cleaning with previous employers (O.R. 12.1, 95% CI 3-49.9). Conclusions: These results indicate a high occurrence of CTS in floor cleaners; UNE is less frequent than CTS, presumably due to repetitive movements that stress wrists more than elbows. The only predictive factor of CTS was cleaning as an occupation with previous employers. Therefore, the actual risk factor for CTS could not be cleaning per se, but how this job is performed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalNeurophysiologie Clinique / Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Floor cleaners
  • Ulnar neuropathy at the elbow
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy at the elbow in floor cleaners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this