Introduction: Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most commonly encountered neuropathy. The entrapment of the median nerve at the wrist can be corrected with a carpal tunnel release (CTR) procedure. The objective of this retrospective study was to determine the demographic, medical, and surgical characteristics of the patients with CTS who presented for CTR surgery in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia.
Materials and Methods: Malaysians patients with CTS who had undergone a CTR during the period from 1st June 2017 to 31st December 2017 were enrolled into the study. Each patient had a minimum follow-up of three months. The demographic data of age, gender, race and occupation, and the comorbid illnesses and associated risk factors were recorded. The prevalence and occurrence of CTS in the dominant or non-dominant hand and the effectiveness of surgical intervention were also noted. Data was collected, analysed and stored in Microsoft Excel and SPSS 25.
Results: There was a total of 76 cases of CTR surgeries done in 62 patients in the study. Eighty percent of the patients were female, and most of the patients belonged to the age group of 41-60 years. Malays constituted 74.2% of the patients, and 34% were housewives. Hypertension, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus were the three major comorbidities. Cervical spondylosis was seen in one-fourth of the patients. Bilateral hand involvement was present in 54.8% of patients. 59.7% of CTR surgery was done on the dominant hand alone, 17.7 % CTR on the non-dominant hand alone and 22.6% CTR on both hands. Numbness and pain (50%) were the predominant presenting symptoms. The most positive signs were the Durkan test (77.6%), followed by the Tinel sign at the carpal tunnel and the Phalen’s test. At follow-up, three months or more, after the surgery, 75% of the patients showed a satisfactory improvement.
Conclusion: Patients, who had undergone CTR, had a higher prevalence of pre-morbid conditions, and a quarter of them presented with associated cervical spondylosis. The most common presentation was a combination of numbness and pain. Many obtained satisfactory improvement post-surgery and thus open surgery could be considered a reliable treatment for CTS.
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