Carpal tunnel decompression in the super-elderly: functional outcome and patient satisfaction are equal to those of their younger counterparts

Bone Joint J. 2014 Sep;96-B(9):1234-8. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B9.34279.


There is conflicting evidence about the functional outcome and rate of satisfaction of super-elderly patients (≥ 80 years of age) after carpal tunnel decompression. We compiled outcome data for 756 patients who underwent a carpal tunnel decompression over an eight-year study period, 97 of whom were super-elderly, and 659 patients who formed a younger control group (< 80 years old). There was no significant difference between the super-elderly patients and the younger control group in terms of functional outcome according to the mean (0 to 100) QuickDASH score (adjusted mean difference at one year 1.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) -3.4 to 7.0) and satisfaction rate (odds ratio (OR) 0.78; 95% CI 0.34 to 1.58). Super-elderly patients were, however, more likely to have thenar muscle atrophy at presentation (OR 9.2, 95% CI 5.8 to 14.6). When nerve conduction studies were obtained, super-elderly patients were more likely to have a severe conduction deficit (OR 12.4, 95% CI 3.0 to 51.3). Super-elderly patients report functional outcome and satisfaction rates equal to those of their younger counterparts. They are more likely to have thenar muscle atrophy and a severe nerve conduction deficit at presentation, and may therefore warrant earlier decompression.

Keywords: Carpal tunnel; Outcomes; Satisfaction; Super-elderly.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / surgery*
  • Decompression, Surgical*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome