Scientific article| Volume 42, ISSUE 5, P390.e1-390.e6, May 2017

Prospective Evaluation of Sleep Improvement Following Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

Published:March 27, 2017DOI:


      Sleep disturbance due to nighttime awakening is a well-documented symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. While relief of nighttime waking following carpal tunnel release (CTR) has been demonstrated, the effect of CTR on overall sleep quality has not been fully investigated. We hypothesized that CTR would result in significant improvement in overall sleep quality as well as patients’ overall satisfaction with their sleep habits.


      Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome with positive nerve studies, and treated with CTR, were prospectively enrolled. Demographic data, electromyography (EMG) severity, Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire, and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scale data were collected.


      A total of 398 patients were enrolled, with 99% available at 2 weeks and 64% available at 3-month final follow-up. At final follow-up, average Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score improved significantly from the preoperative value. Average ISI score on all 7 sleep categories on the survey improved significantly from before surgery to the first postoperative visit. However, the total ISI score did not further improve significantly between the 2-week and the 3-month postoperative visits. The ISI score improvements did not correlate with EMG severity.


      Patients undergoing CTR demonstrated significant improvement in mean scores for 7 aspects of sleep quality. Sleep improvement was unrelated to preoperative EMG severity and was experienced within 2 weeks of surgery.

      Type of study/level of evidence

      Therapeutic II.

      Key words

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