Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal Tunnel Release

A CARPAL TUNNEL RELEASE is a surgery performed to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, which is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Carpal tunnel surgery decreases pain, nerve tingling, and numbness and restores muscle strength.

THE PROCEDURE: The surgeon will cut through the carpal ligament to make more space for the nerve and tendons:

  • A small surgical cut is made in the palm of your hand near your wrist.
  • The transverse carpal ligament is cut; this eases the pressure on the median nerve. Sometimes, tissue around the nerve is also removed.
  • The skin and tissue underneath are closed with sutures (stitches).
  • At times, surgeons complete this procedure using a tiny scope that is attached to a monitor. The surgeon will insert the scope into your wrist through a very small surgical cut and view the monitor to see inside your wrist. This kind of procedure is called an endoscopic surgery. The instrument used is called an endoscope.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE: After the carpal tunnel surgery, your wrist will likely be placed in a splint or heavy bandage for about a week. (After the splint or bandage is removed, you will begin motion exercises or a physical therapy program.)
The length of your recovery will depend on how long you had symptoms prior to the surgery and the severity of damage to your median nerve. If you had symptoms for a long time, you may not be completely pain-free after you recover.

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