Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


I'm 81-years old and decided to have carpal tunnel surgery for wrist and hand pain. I've had this problem for the last three years. What kind of results can I expect?


Doctors don't all agree on the answer to this question. Some warn that the result is poor for severe disease. Others report good recovery even after long-standing nerve pressure.

Overall it seems that complete return to normal is more likely when carpal tunnel syndrome is treated early. Muscle weakness or muscle wasting before surgery points to a poor result. Constant pain and numbness is also a sign that recovery may be limited.

In a recent study at the University of Rochester, results of carpal tunnel release in older adults (over 70 years) are reported favorably.

Michael E. Leit, MD, et al. Patient-Reported Outcome after Carpal Tunnel Release for Advanced Disease: A Prospective and Longitudinal Assessment in Patients Older Than Age 70. In Journal of Hand Surgery. May 2004. Vol. 29A. No. 3. Pp. 379-383.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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