Question:I am a 66-year old restaurant owner. I have pretty bad carpal tunnel syndrome. I can't really afford to retire yet. If I don't get some relief from these symptoms, I may be forced to take disability. Am I too old for surgery?
There's been some debate about how old is "too old" for carpal tunnel surgery (CTS). It's true that younger patients recover better and faster, but folks over age 65 can have good results too.
A recent study was done comparing symptoms and function before and after CTS. The results showed an overall satisfaction rate of 83 percent among older patients. Those who didn't get better had more muscle wasting before the operation. They may have just waited too long before having the surgery.
Many older adults are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. When nonsurgical therapy fails or when the symptoms are severe and affecting a person's livelihood, then surgery should be considered as a possible treatment option.Robert A. Weber, MD, and Malcolm J. Rude, MD. Clinical Outcomes of Carpal Tunnel Release in Patients 65 and Older. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. January 2005. Vol. 30A. No. 1. Pp. 75-80.
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