Carpal Tunnel Statistics

With Carpal Tunnel Syndrome being one of the most common surgery performed, we wanted to compile a helpful list of statistics. These stats come from a variety of sources in hopes to provide a holistic understanding about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Surgery.

In 2010, an estimated 3.1% of employed adults aged 18-64 had carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in the previous 12 months.U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CTS is responsible for more days away from work than any other nonfatal injuryU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

CTS is responsible for 32.5% of repetitive motion injuries at the workplaceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employed women, between the ages of 45-64, report CTS at almost double the rate as men for the same age group.U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CTS affected over 5 million U.S. workers in 2010PubMed

18% of workers who develop CTS report leaving their job within 18 monthsJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation (Volume 10, Issue 1)

In pregnant women, hormonal fluctuation and fluid retention is one reason that CTS may develop.University of Maryland Medical Center

CTS surgery occurs between 400,000 and 500,000 cases annually in the US with an economic cost of over $2 billion.PubMed

Post-CTS surgery, 10-30% of patients have wrist strength complicationsUniversity of Maryland Medical Center

10-15% of CTS surgery patients change jobs after the operationUniversity of Maryland Medical Center

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve compression disorder of the upper extremity. This process affects 1 percent of the general population and 5 percent of the working population who must undergo repetitive use of their hands and wrists in daily living. 1 Surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist, with 463,637 carpal tunnel releases annually in the United States, 2 accounting for $1 billion in direct costs.Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: Volume 105(5) April 2000

Carpal tunnel syndrome results in the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Almost half of the carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss.National Center for Health Statistics

Other industries, however, have higher total numbers of CTS-related events that cause lost-work days. The following is a list of occupations published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2002 that rates workers with highest to lowest numbers of such events: SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, April 2002 •  Assemblers •  Cashiers •  Secretaries •  General office clerks •  Laborers, non-construction •  Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks •  Welders and cutters •  Data-entry employees •  Textile sewing machine operators •  Order clerks •  Supervisors and proprietors, sales occupations •  Machine operators (unspecified) •  Truck drivers •  Investigators and adjusters, (not insurance) •  Insurance adjusters, examiners, and investigators •  Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers •  Packaging and filling machine operators •  Janitors and cleaners •  Bank tellers •  Production inspectors, checkers, and examinersBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, April 2002

(Carpal tunnel patients)…30% reported poor to fair strength and long-term scar discomfort, and 57% noted a return of some pre-operative symptoms, most commonly pain, beginning an average of 2 years after surgery.The Journal of Hand Surgery: Journal of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand. (Volume 20, Issue 4)

If you type 40 words a minute : you press 12,000 keys per hour or 96,000 keys per 8-hour day.Approximately 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key. •  Almost 16 tons of force will be exercised by your fingers.

Note for computer users and typists: Repetitive typing and key entry is highly associated with missing work due to CTS. The risk for CTS in this group, however, is still much lower than with occupations involving heavy labor. One small 2001 study reported that nerve conduction tests on frequent computer users showed the same rate of CTS (3.5%) as in the general population. However, 10% of the computer users complained of CTS symptoms and 30% reported tingling and burning in the hand. The typing speed may affect risk. For example, the fingers of typists whose speed is 60 words per minute exert up to 25 tons of pressure each day . And in one, study typists with CTS struck the keys with greater force than those without the disorder did.

National Center for Health Statistics

According to the compiled information from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Carpal Tunnel surgery is the second most common type of surgery, with well over 230,000 procedures performed annually.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

The U.S. Department of Labor has concluded that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the “chief occupational hazard of the 90’s”-disabling workers in epidemic proportions.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

According to NIOSHA, Only 23% of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome patients were able to return to their previous professions following surgery.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

Women are twice as likely to develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as opposed to their male counterparts.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

Ergonomic disorders are the fastest growing category of work-related illness. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , they account for 56 percent of illnesses reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

United States, employers spend more than $7.4 billion in workers compensation costs, and untold billions on medical treatment, litigation costs, hidden costs and lost productivity. U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

More than eight million people are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome each year. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is the second most common type of musculoskeletal surgery, (back surgery is #1) with well over 230,000 procedures performed annually.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

There seems to be a statistically higher incidence of recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome after endoscopic release compared with the traditional open release in our cases. Although the pathogenesis of this increased rate of recurrence is not clear, this should be considered when planning surgical release of the volar carpal ligament for carpal tunnel syndrome. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 105: 1662, 2000.)Orthopedic Center of Arlington

Many patients are undergoing multiple surgeries, which can cause complications ranging from excessive scar tissue overgrowth (re- compressing the nerve tunnel) to surgical injuries that leave the fingers totally devoid of sensation. United Press, August 8, 1996.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

If you type 40 words a minute : you press 12,000 keys per hour or 96,000 keys per 8-hour day.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

Approximately 8 ounces of force is necessary to depress one key. Almost 16 tons of force will be exercised by your fingers.Orthopedic Center of Arlington

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