HealthDay News — For patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), long-term outcomes are similar for open and endoscopic release surgery, according to a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Isam Atroshi, MD, PhD, from Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial comparing open and endoscopic release among patients aged 25 to 60 years with CTS. Patients underwent extended follow-up with a questionnaire that included the validated Levine-Katz 11-item CTS symptom severity scale and eight-item functional status scale. Complete follow-up data for all outcome measures were provided by 124 patients between 11.3 and 15.7 years after surgery.

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The researchers found that symptom severity score improvement, which was similar in both groups at one year, was maintained at follow-up. In the open group, the symptom severity scores were 3.1, 1.4, and 1.4 at baseline, one year, and follow-up, respectively; in the endoscopic group, the corresponding scores were 3.2, 1.4, and 1.4. The adjusted mean between-group difference in change was −0.03 from baseline (P = 0.79) and −0.03 from one year (P = 0.76). Secondary outcomes did not differ between the groups.

“After a mean follow-up of 12.8 years after CTS surgery, there were no significant differences between open and endoscopic carpal tunnel release,” the authors wrote. “The large symptom and functional improvements and high level of patient satisfaction achieved with surgery were durable.”


1. Atroshi I, Hofer M, Larsson G, Ranstam J. Extended Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial of Open vs Endoscopic Release Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. JAMA. 2015;314(13):1399-1401. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.12208.