Timing of Improvement After Carpal Tunnel Release


This prospective study of 52 patients from the authors’ institutional carpal tunnel database investigated which patient subpopulations were most likely to benefit from carpal tunnel release and documented the time course of recovery. Preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 and 12 months, patients completed a Levine–Katz questionnaire, and NC-Stat studies and clinical parameters were recorded by a certified occupational therapist. For individual parameters from preoperative to 6 months postoperative, statistical improvements were found in Tinel’s and Phalen’s signs, pinch strength, delayed motor latency, and symptom severity and functional scores. None of these parameters changed significantly from 6 to 12 months. Grip strength did not change significantly postoperatively. Analysis based on age or carpal tunnel release technique showed no differences postoperatively. Preoperative symptom and functional scores correlated statistically with postoperative scores, peaking at 6 months postoperatively. The study concluded that most clinical signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel release fail to improve after 6 months postoperatively. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 13(4):206–209, 2004

SKU: JSOA-2004-13-4-W3 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Todd M. Guyette, MD,  E. F. Shaw Wilgis, MD