I'm 81-years old and decided to have carpal tunnel surgery for wrist and hand pain. I've had this problem for the last three years. What kind of results can I expect?

Doctors don't all agree on the answer to this question. Some warn that the result is poor for severe disease. Others report good recovery even after long-standing nerve pressure.

Overall it seems that complete return to normal is more likely when carpal tunnel syndrome is treated early. Muscle weakness or muscle wasting before surgery points to a poor result. Constant pain and numbness is also a sign that recovery may be limited.

In a recent study at the University of Rochester, results of carpal tunnel release in older adults (over 70 years) are reported favorably.