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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Health Center

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A Light at the End of the Carpal Tunnel

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"Surgical treatment is superior to any other treatment, across the board. But if a person has only minimal symptoms, they may be able to avoid it, or at least delay surgery," says Gregory Hanker, MD. "If they have moderate to severe symptoms, the vast majority of people who get [conservative treatment] will worsen over time. Those people almost always need surgery." Hanker, who also reviewed the study for WebMD, is a hand surgeon and assistant clinical professor at the University of Southern California.

Hanker says the recurrence rate is low following surgery, but, most important, patients need to be educated about the nature of disease. "You want to educate them how to lessen stress on their hands. Basically, it's common sense. Avoid those things that hurt, do those things that don't."

This study was sponsored by the Navy's Chief Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

Vital Information:

 

  • The idea that carpal tunnel syndrome is a permanent disability that cannot be reversed may be a myth, according to a new study.
  • Most carpal tunnel patients who are treated are able to return to their jobs and resume a normal work capacity, even if modifications are necessary.
  • Those who undergo a surgical procedure are more likely to have their symptoms resolved compared to those who undergo other treatments, and the recurrence rate is low.
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