Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome under antiplatelet therapy

Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2010 Nov;112(9):791-3. doi: 10.1016/j.clineuro.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


Objective: Antiplatelet therapy is often instituted after cardiovascular or neurological ischemic events. In general, discontinuation of the antiplatelet medication for several days is warranted previous to surgery. However, discontinuation can lead to ischemic events. For some forms of surgery, the risks of an ischemic event, and especially, its consequences do not outweigh the benefit of discontinuation of the antiplatelet therapy. Retrospective analysis was done of a cohort of patients treated for carpal tunnel syndrome with special emphasis on postoperative hemorrhage in combination with antiplatelet medication.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of cohort consisting of 362 consecutive patients treated for carpal tunnel syndrome in the Neurosurgical Centre, Nijmegen was done.

Results: In 362 patients 423 operations on carpal tunnel release were done. Thirty-one patients were on antiplatelet therapy, of which 6 did not discontinue the medication before surgery. The remaining patients stopped at least seven days before surgery. A postoperative hemorrhage did not occur in any of the 423 operations.

Conclusion: There seems no reasonable evidence that discontinuation of aspirin for carpal tunnel syndrome is justified. Bleeding complications are considered rare, moreover the impact of an ischemic cardiovascular or a cerebral event would be far more severe than that of postoperative hemorrhage in the wrist.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Local
  • Anticoagulants / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / adverse effects
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / complications*
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / surgery*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perioperative Care
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / chemically induced*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk


  • Anticoagulants
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin