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Carpal tunnel surgery also called carpal tunnel release surgery, is a procedure to separate transverse carpal ligament. For the patients who are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, this operation is performed but only if, the patient’s daily life activities are persistently influenced by it.

 

In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve of the wrist is pressed in the carpal tunnel area leading to weakness in the muscle, tingling sensation, pain, numbness, and atrophy. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a result of some risk factors such as;

 

● Injury or trauma to the hand 
● Diabetes 
● Obesity 
● Pregnancy 
● Hypothyroidism 
● A narrow carpal wrist tunnel 

When the carpal tunnel syndrome is mild, corticosteroid injections or night splints can be used for treatment to limit the symptoms. However, to provide relief, carpal tunnel release surgery is the only treatment that is known evenif it does not fully cure the condition. 

Carpal tunnel release surgery has two main kinds:

● Open carpal tunnel surgery 
● Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery 

 

Patients who prefer endoscopic method can turn back to work faster and feel less pain in the recovery period. According to researches, both methods found to be effective to treat the symptoms, but more money and operation time are needed for endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery.

Over 350.000 patients in a year, only from the USA prefer this of surgery.


Patients who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome can be the candidates.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery (28 Clinics)

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Ethica Incirli Hospital
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KCM Clinic
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Carpal tunnel release surgery is not advised for pregnant patients because the condition may be solved by itself after birth. Patients who experience other life-threatening circumstances or incompatibility with general anesthesia are also not suitable. Some circumstances that can make this incompatibility are morbid obesity, cardiovascular and, lung diseases. 

Patients should have a proper understanding of the method and what can be achieved. After the surgery, symptoms may somewhat continue in patients who experience severe carpal tunnel syndrome. For mild levels, other less invasive ways can be used.


How long should you stay in the hospital after the surgery? 

Overnight stay is not required


How long will the procedure last? 

The surgery duration will take 1 hour


Before the surgery number of tests involving a nerve conduction study and electromyography should be done.


Depending on the patients and the complexity of the operation, local or general anesthesia will be given. Then, the doctor will form an incision to the base of the patient's palm, separate the transverse carpal ligament and close the incision with stitches.Scar tissue will form where the transverse carpal ligament has been cut, effectively making it longer. 

Similarly, the only distinction of endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery is the endoscope for working inside the patient’s wrist. Because smaller incisions are enough for this method, patients will recover faster. 


While recovery of the dominant hand lasts 6 to 12 weeks, recovery of non-dominant hand lasts around 2 weeks. Inflammation, pain, and lack of strength in hand may be experienced throughout the recovery period.


Complications of carpal tunnel surgery are uncommon, but they can still occur in some cases: 

● Scarring  ● Tenderness around the incision site 
● Nerve damage 
● Return of symptoms after 3 months 
● Limited hand function


Side effects of carpal tunnel surgery can involve:

● Pain 
● Discomfort 
● Temporary lack of strength in the operated hand 
● Bruising


According to patient reviews, relief of symptoms after carpal tunnel surgery is found to be above 90%.


After the surgery, the majority of the patients inform fewer or no symptoms, yet in particular situations, numbness and pain may return. Besides, the limited functionality of hand is experienced by some for 3 months.


– How long does carpal tunnel surgery take? 
The procedure takes around an hour. 

– When will I be able to drive? 
You will be able to drive after 1-2 days.

– When will I be able to write? 
You will be able to write comfortably after about 5 weeks.


This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.