A retrospective record review of patients with occupational carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve conduction velocity studies, and a closed Workers' Compensation case was undertaken to compare the outcome of surgical versus nonsurgical treatment with respect to disability and return to work status. Between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 1993, 182 patients who met the inclusion criteria were identified. Surgical release of the carpal tunnel was performed in 57% of patients and the other 43% were treated conservatively. Overall, 82% of patients returned to full work status, whereas 18% had duty modifications. Surgical treatment decreased the rate of duty modifications and disability ratings compared with nonsurgical treatment and reduced the odds of incurring disability. Severity of carpal tunnel syndrome was also a significant factor affecting disability. Despite the generally held belief that the outcome of treatment of occupational carpal tunnel syndrome is poor, the present study shows that both surgical and nonsurgical treatment is effective. However, patients treated with surgery had decreased disability when compared with those who were treated conservatively.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||American journal of orthopedics (Belle Mead, N.J.)|
|State||Published - Mar 2000|
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