What is the role of surgery in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Answer

Patients whose condition does not improve following conservative treatment and patients who initially are in the severe carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) category (as defined by electrophysiologic testing) should be considered for surgery. [16] Surgical release of the transverse ligament provides high initial success rates (greater than 90%), with low rates of complication; however, it has been suggested that the long-term success rate may be much lower than previously thought (approximately 60% at 5 y). Success rates also are considerably lower for individuals with normal electrophysiologic studies. [17, 18, 19]


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