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What is Carpel tunnel release surgery?
Carpal tunnel surgery, also known as carpal tunnel release, is a procedure that can help relieve pressure on the median nerve to improve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. This type of surgery involves cutting the tissue around the wrist to alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
How effective is Carpel tunnel release surgery?
According to some medical studies, over 70% people are satisfied with their results, and 90% have no night pain after surgery.
What types of surgery are available?
Duration of procedure/surgery:
- Open release surgery:
Open release surgery is the traditional procedure used to correct carpal tunnel syndrome.
The procedure consists of making an incision up to 2 inches in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel.
- Endoscopic surgery:
Endoscopic surgery may allow faster recovery and less postoperative discomfort than traditional open release surgery.
The surgeon makes two incisions in the wrist and palm, inserts a camera attached to a tube, observes the tissue on a screen, and cuts the carpal ligament (the tissue that holds joints together).
Usually takes 10 to 20 minutes.
Usually done on an outpatient basis, so you will not stay at the hospital.
Generally done under local anesthesia.
You may need to wear a splint for several weeks.
Your stitches will be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery.
Physical therapy is recommended after surgery to restore the wrist strength.
Full recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can take months. Some patients may need to adjust job duties or even change jobs in order to aid the recovery and avoid the recurrence of the symptoms.
The rate of major complications is generally low - around 1% of patients.
Possible major complications include:
- Damage to the median nerve or its branches
- Damage to the ulnar nerve.
- Damage to the artery in the palm of your hand
- Numbness in the palm or fingers
- Incomplete release of the carpal ligament
- Finger stiffness
- Continued pain
- Allergic reaction to medication
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Occasionally the wrist may lose strength because the carpal ligament is cut.
Learn more about Carpal Tunnel Surgery