Elderly Patients Satisfied with Surgery for Carpal Tunnel

People 70 and older have better overall relief with operative approach

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Age is not a contraindication for surgical intervention in carpal tunnel syndrome, and patients in their 70s and 80s report more satisfaction with surgery than non-surgical therapies, according to a paper in the Sept. 15 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Anke M. Ettema, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues reviewed data from patients with a mean age of 77 years who were followed after surgical and non-surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. The authors analyzed the responses to questionnaires that assessed symptoms, functional status, expectations and satisfaction with therapy a minimum of two years after diagnosis.

The mean follow-up was 4.8 years in 70 patients whose ages ranged from 70 to 88 years. Those who had surgery usually had more severe disease, and 93 percent were satisfied with their results compared to 54 percent of those who had non-surgical treatment. The patients who had surgery reported significantly better symptom relief than those who had non-operative therapy.

"The prevalence and incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in this population are high, and we believe that such patients should be evaluated and treated based on the same indications used in younger individuals, as we have shown that, in this group, surgical outcomes are superior to those of non-surgical treatment," the authors conclude.

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