A Light at the End of the Carpal Tunnel
"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
This study was sponsored by the Navy's Chief Bureau of Medicine and
- 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
- 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.