Long-term symptomatic, functional, and work outcomes of carpal tunnel syndrome among construction workers

Bradley Evanoff, Bethany T. Gardner, Jaime R. Strickland, Skye Buckner-Petty, Alfred Franzblau, Ann Marie Dale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The long-term outcomes of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) including symptoms, functional status, work disability, and economic impact are unknown. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 234 active construction workers with medical claims for CTS and 249 workers without CTS claims; non-cases were matched on age, trade, and insurance eligibility. We conducted telephone interviews with cases and non-cases and collected administrative data on work hours. Results: Compared to non-cases, CTS cases were more likely to report recurrent hand symptoms, decreased work productivity/quality, decreased performance of physical work demands, and greater functional limitations. Surgical cases showed larger improvements on multiple outcomes than non-surgical cases. Minimal differences in paid work hours were seen between cases and non-cases in the years preceding and following CTS claims. Conclusions: Persistent symptoms and functional impairments were present several years after CTS diagnosis. Long-term functional limitations shown by this and other studies indicate the s prevention and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Administrative data
  • Disability
  • Economic impact
  • Impairment
  • Musculoskeletal disorders


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