The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area, or PSF funding mechanism.

Ulnar Neuropathy at the Elbow: A Cost-Utility Analysis

Principal Investigator
Jae Song MD


The Regents of the University of Michigan

Funding Mechanism
Research Fellowship

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity

Treatment options for ulnar neuropathy at the elbow (UNE) are extensive, but controversy exists over the effectiveness of these procedures, including simple decompression, decompression and medial epicondylectomy, anterior subcutaneous transposition, and anterior submuscular transposition. Reflected in the evolution and number of variations of surgical procedures for UNE is the intense debate among expert hand surgeons in the past decades regarding which of these procedures are optimal. To date, the literature remains surprisingly inconclusive despite the progressively debilitating nature of UNE.

In the absence of evidence-based practices, a decision analysis and economic evaluation is a valuable tool for comparing treatment options. Decision analysis is a method of assigning a level of desirability, or utility, to various health states. In UNE, a progressively debilitating chronic condition, the patient's quality of life is affected. Thus understanding patients' preferences, in addition to the costs of the treatments, may be the most important factors in choosing among treatments. We thus propose to conduct a cost-utility analysis comparing conservative treatment and four common operative techniques (simple decompression, anterior subcutaneous transposition, anterior submuscular transposition, and medial epicondylectomy) for UNE. Utilities will be measured directly on a sample of community members that represent potential future patients who may develop UNE by means of a time trade-off survey supplemented with animations. A cost-utility analysis for UNE would be an informative decision aid for both patients and surgeons when choosing among all the different surgical options.

Dr. Song completed her undergraduate education with Honors Distinction in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Magna cum Laude. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to continue her thesis work in Developmental Neurobiology in Freiburg, Germany. Upon completion of her fellowship, she returned to the U.S. to earn her medical degree at New York University School of Medicine, graduating with Honors in Cell Biology for her research training at Harvard University, which was funded by the Alpha Omega Alpha Carolyn L. Kuckein Fellowship. Her research work culminated in a first author cover article in the Journal of Neuroscience. She is now completing a one year Masters degree as part of the Multidisciplinary Clinical Researchers in Training Program at the University of Michigan under the direction of Kevin C. Chung, MD, MS. Under his supervision, she will begin her 2010 PSEF Research Fellowship conducting a cost-utility analysis of treatments