An outcomes protocol for carpal tunnel release: A comparison of outcomes in patients with and without medical comorbidities

Paul J. Cagle, Megan Reams, Julie Agel, Deb Bohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose To prospectively report the outcomes of open carpal tunnel release with respect to patient age and medical comorbidities.

Methods Nine hundred fifty open carpal tunnel procedures in 826 patients (age range, 21-100 y) at a high-volume orthopedic surgery center were evaluated. Self-reported symptom severity and functional scores were collected using the validated Boston Carpal Tunnel Outcomes questionnaire preoperatively, and at 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 12 weeks postoperatively.

Results Patients demonstrated a significant improvement in symptom severity scores at 2 weeks and functional severity scores at 6 weeks. Documented patient medical comorbidities did not affect improvement after surgery. Patients with diabetes improved more slowly but were not significantly different at 6 weeks. Patients with workers' compensation insurance were significantly worse at baseline, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks but were not significantly different at 3 months. The risk of negative postoperative endpoints was slightly higher in patients with a medical comorbidity, though not statistically different.

Conclusions Significant improvements in symptom severity and hand function may be expected after open carpal tunnel release in the general population regardless of age, medical comorbidities, or workers' compensation status. Type of study/level of evidence Therapeutic III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2175-2180
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 ASSH Published by Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Carpal tunnel complication
  • carpal tunnel outcomes
  • carpal tunnel release
  • carpal tunnel syndrome


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