How Much Is Carpal Tunnel?

Carpal tunnel surgery has about a 57% failure rate following patients from 1-day to 6-years. At least one of the following symptoms re-occurred during this time: Pain, Numbness, Tingling sensations. Source: Nancollas, et al, 1995. J. Hand Surgery.

Oftentimes, the surgery fails to produce any lasting help. A published study by Dr. Strasberg, at the Washington University School of Medicine, reported some startling results. This study, involving patients requiring a second surgery for CTS, revealed that only 53% of the patients showed significant improvement in their symptoms .

Another study produced by the Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine showed that relief from pain was complete or modest in 86% of the patients. Of the patients studied, only 67% were able to return to their old jobs whereas, 15% had to change jobs and the remainder did not return to work.

In addition to spending $20 billion annually on workers' compensation costs due to RSIs, the U.S. spends another $100 billion on lost productivity, employee turnover, and other indirect expenses; The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research.

(Carpal tunnel patients)...30% reported poor to fair strength and long-term scar discomfort, and 57% noted a return of some pre-operative symptoms, most commonly pain, beginning an average of 2 years after surgery. Source - The Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand. Volume 20, Issue 4, August 1995, Pages 470-474 Long-term results of carpal tunnel release


According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body ( the wrist, elbow or shoulder ). One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the #1 reported medical problem, accounting for about 50% of all work-related injuries

Carpal tunnel surgery has about a 57% failure rate following patients from 1-day to 6-years. At least one of the following symptoms re-occurred during this time: Pain, Numbness, Tingling sensations. Source: Nancollas, et al, 1995. J. Hand Surgery.

Presently, 25% of all computer operators have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, with estimates that by the year 2000, 50% of the entire workforce may be affected.

Only 23% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery, according to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (1997-2000 Statistics).

Up to 36% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients require unlimited medical treatment.

Women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as opposed to their male counterparts.

While women account for about 45% of all workers, they experience nearly 2/3's of all work-related Repetitive Strain Injuries.

Ergonomic disorders are the fastest growing category of work-related illness. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , they account for 56 percent of illnesses reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Revision Surgery after Carpal Tunnel Release – Analysis of the pathology in 200 cases during a 2 year period - Carpal tunnel release (CTR) is regarded as a common and successful operative procedure in hand surgery. However, an increasing number of patients with complications have been referred to our hospital. This retrospective investigation was undertaken to clarify the reasons for persisting or recurrent symptoms in 200 patients who underwent secondary exploration during a 26 month period at a single institution. In 108 cases, the flexor retinaculum was found to have been released incompletely. In 12 patients, a nerve laceration had occurred during the primary intervention. In 46 patients, symptoms were due to the nerve being tethered in scar tissue. The re-exploration revealed circumferential fibrosis around and within the median nerve in 17 patients and a tumour in the carpal tunnel in four patients. In 13 patients, no specific reason was found for recurrence of symptoms. (Source - The Journal of Hand Surgery: British & European Volume Volume 31, Issue 1, February 2006, Pages 68-71)