Carpal tunnel release is surgery that reduces the pressure on a nerve in
the wrist. Your doctor will cut a ligament that presses on the nerve. This lets the nerve pass freely through the tunnel without being
The surgery can be open or endoscopic. In
open surgery, your doctor makes a small cut in the palm of your
hand. This cut is called an incision. In endoscopic surgery, your doctor makes one small incision in the wrist,
or one small incision in the wrist and one in the palm. Your doctor puts a thin tube with a camera attached (endoscope) into the
tools are put in along with the endoscope.
In both types of surgeries, the
incisions are closed with stitches. The incisions leave scars that usually fade
You may be asleep during the surgery. Or you may be awake
and have medicine to numb your hand and arm so you will not feel pain.
After surgery, your wrist and hand pain should begin to go away. It
usually takes 3 to 4 months to recover and 1 year before your hand strength
returns. How much hand strength returns is different for each person.
You will go home the same day as the surgery. When you can return to work
depends on the type of work you do.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to
all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a
good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
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