Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that creates weakness and pain in the wrist, hands or fingers. The carpal tunnel is a literal tunnel or passageway extending from the base of the palm at the wrist joint and into the wrist. The carpal tunnel protects tendons, ligaments and nerves in the hand.
Prior to a carpal tunnel release surgery, your doctor may perform a variety of tests, includuing:
Carpal tunnel release surgery is also called open release surgery. The procedure involves severing the transverse carpal tunnel ligament. This helps relieve pressure on the nerve that extends from the palm of the hand down through the wrist. To perform the surgery in the open surgical method, your doctor will:
For an endoscopic approach, your doctor will:
In most cases, you will receive a local anesthetic, meaning just your hand and perhaps a portion of your forearm will be anesthetized. The procedure is done in about 30 minutes or less. The severed ligament will heal and its ends will join again. The goal of the procedure is to create more space for the nerve while and after the ligament heals. You will be encouraged to use and strengthen your hand as soon as possible following initial healing of the ligament.