Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure performed to treat carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a condition that affects the wrist and hand. CTS occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed or irritated.
CTS can lead to a variety of symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers.
When is Carpal Tunnel Release Necessary?
Over time, carpal tunnel syndrome can begin to weaken your hand and wrist muscles.
The continuous compression and irritation of the median nerve can lead to further nerve damage, aggravating the weakness and affecting the functionality of your hand and wrist.
If all of these symptoms persist for over 6 months without any improvement, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Other cases where this procedure is recommended include:
· No improvement from other treatments.
· Difficulty to grip, grasp, or pinch objects.
How is Carpal Tunnel Release Done?
There are two different approaches to performing carpal tunnel surgery: open surgery and endoscopic surgery.
This technique involves making a 1 to 2-inch incision from your wrist to your palm.
After the incision is made, your surgeon will lift the skin edges to access the carpal ligament. Using surgical instruments, your surgeon will cut and release the transverse carpal ligament. This will enlarge the carpal tunnel and reduce the compression on the median nerve, alleviating the symptoms of CTS.
Once the ligament has been released, the surgeon will close the incision with stitches.
This technique is minimally invasive as it involves making two small incisions in the palm or wrist. One incision is typically made near the wrist crease, and the other is made slightly closer to the palm.
Then, an endoscope will be inserted through one of the incisions, allowing your surgeon to visualize the inside of the carpal tunnel on a monitor.
Through the other incision, your surgeon will insert specialized instruments to carefully release the transverse carpal ligament.
Finally, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
Recovery After Surgery
After surgery, you will experience numbness, discomfort, or mild pain in the hand and wrist area, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
A bandage or dressing will be applied to your hand to protect it. In some cases, a splint or brace may be also provided to immobilize the wrist and promote proper healing. Your doctor will provide you with instructions on how to take care of it.
Your doctor may also recommend applying ice and elevating your hand to help with the pain.
Every patient has a different recovery process. Contact your doctor with any questions or concerns.