Prognosis in treating carpal tunnel left untreated for 50 years
I just learned that the numbness in my non-dominant hand, which has always been attributed to complications of an elbow fracture 50 years ago, is in fact due to Carpal Tunnel. My thumb muscle is atrophied, and the index and middle fingers never grew to full size (I was 8 at the time of the fracture). I have read that the longer one waits, the less likely that surgery will be successful. Any ideas on probability of success? Would you do it or not? Already had EMG/NCV, and have referral to hand surgeon, for consult. Test results are worse that those of 5 years ago. I have functioned successfully this long in this condition. . . . but, part of me feels cheated.
Back story: severe break of elbow. Immediately complained of numbness in hand. Was put in traction for a few weeks. The pin pinched the median nerve between the bone. Five months later, had surgery to retrieve nerve from bone. Six months later, still no feeling. Within the next six months, changed doctor, and he said I was good to go. No physical therapy. No nerve testing back then, other than the tinel (?) test.
Has anyone had surgery after real long term carpal tunnel? Did it work? What is the worst that could happen?