Subjective and employment outcome following secondary carpal tunnel surgery

S. R. Strasberg, C. B. Novak, S. E. Mackinnon, J. F. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty-five patients (50 hands) who had undergone secondary carpal tunnel surgery participated in a telephone questionnaire survey. The mean follow-up time from the second carpal tunnel surgery was 31 months (range, 9-92 mo). Only 24 patients (53%) reported significant improvement in their symptoms. Thirty-nine patients were unemployed workers who had experienced an average time off work of 28.7 months (±4) before their secondary carpal tunnel surgery. Eleven of the 39 previously unemployed workers (28%) returned to work after the secondary carpal tunnel surgery. Factors associated with poor subjective and employment outcome included worker's compensation case involvement (p < 0.003). Occupations associated with repetitive hand movements or vibrating tools were associated with poor employment outcomes (p < 0.006). Although secondary surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome can be effective in relieving symptoms, patients and surgeons must have realistic expectations of the procedure, especially with respect to long-term employment goals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-489
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 1994

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