Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common surgical procedures and is generally recommended if symptoms last for 6 months. The procedure involves severing the band of tissue around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Many patients require surgery on both hands. Surgery is done under local anesthesia and does not require an overnight hospital stay.
Types of carpal tunnel release surgery
Open release surgery consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel. The procedure is generally done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, unless there are unusual medical considerations.
Arthroscopic surgery may allow faster functional recovery and less postoperative discomfort than traditional open release surgery. The surgeon makes two incisions (about ½" each) in your wrist and palm, inserts a camera attached to a tube, observes the tissue on a screen, and cuts the carpal ligament. Cutting this ligament stops the compression on the median nerve. Arthroscopic surgery is generally performed under local anesthesia.
After the surgery, you'll be moved to a recovery area.
Staff will monitor your hands and fingers to ensure that your circulation is strong. They will test to see that you can move all fingers equally and that there is no swelling.
- A splint may be worn for several weeks to help keep the wrist in a neutral position.
- Your surgeon may refer you to a physical therapist to help to restore wrist strength.
- You may need to adjust job duties after recovery from surgery.
- Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare.