Older Adults Benefit from Carpal Tunnel ReleaseDoes carpal tunnel release (CTR) work for older adults? The answer is a resounding 'yes' according to this study in 75 patients aged 65 and older. That's good news because carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) seems to be more common and more severe in older adults.
CTS is a nerve condition caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist. The bones and ligaments of the wrist form a natural opening or tunnel. The nerve passes through this tunnel. Anything that reduces the size of the carpal tunnel can put pressure on the nerve and cause painful symptoms. Changes in the nerve itself can also bring on CTS.
All patients included in the study had to be 65 years of age or older in good mental and physical health. Symptoms, motion, and strength were measured before and after surgery. Use of the hand and wrist was also measured at home and at work.
Patients reported numbness and pain was much better. Symptoms went from severe or very severe to mild or none. Grip and pinch strength improved. Overall 83 percent of the patients were happy with the results of the CTR.
It's true that younger patients have better results after CTR compared to older patients. But this study shows that older patients can get good results after CTR.
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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