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J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2010 Oct;35(8):632-6. doi: 10.1177/1753193410369988. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Clinical outcome of carpal tunnel release with and without opposition transfer.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.


We studied the clinical outcome in 24 patients (25 hands) with carpal tunnel syndrome characterized by severe thenar muscle atrophy, who were treated by open carpal tunnel release alone (10 hands) or with simultaneous opposition transfer (15 hands). We also compared the surgical results in patients younger or older than 65 years. Pain and numbness improved after open carpal tunnel release but more so in younger patients. Activities of daily living also improved with and without opposition transfer; however, certain activities such as fastening hooks or buttons, using chopsticks and turning a key in a lock improved more with opposition transfer. Grip strength did not improve, with or without opposition transfer, regardless of the patients' ages. Pinch strength improved more with opposition transfer.

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