Does the Duration and Severity of Symptoms Have an Impact on Relief of Symptoms after Carpal Tunnel Release?
20 September 2017
16 June 2018
22 January 2019 (online)
Rationale Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most frequently encountered compressive neuropathy of the upper limb. The treatment of CTS ranges from conservative management to carpal tunnel release. Many patients with misconception about the potential morbidity and with the hope of successful conservative treatment delay the surgical release of carpal tunnel. This delay results in reduced recovery of sensory and motor median nerve function.
Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of preoperative duration and severity of symptom on the outcome of carpal tunnel surgery.
Method It included 45 cases of CTS, all treated with limited access open carpal tunnel release. The duration of symptoms (i.e., pain, numbness, tingling, waking up at night because of pain/numbness, difficulty in grasping small objects, and their preoperative severity) was noted using Boston CTS questionnaire. To investigate the outcome, patients were divided into three groups based on their duration of symptoms.
Result Group1: The severity of symptoms was reduced to normal in a short period of time in patients who presented with duration of symptoms less than 6 months. Group 2: Patients in whom symptoms lasted for 6 to 12 months had reduced or delayed recovery of hand function as compared with first group. Group 3: Patients who had symptoms for more than 12 months had incomplete recovery of grip strength. Return to normal function took the longest time (median: 16 weeks) in this group.
Conclusion This study suggests that patients who present late have delayed/incomplete relief of symptoms after carpal tunnel release.
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