Orthopedics

Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery

Description

Carpel tunnel syndrome is a common hand condition that causes numbness, pain and weakness in the wrist or hands, usually occurs due to the high pressure on the median nerve, which produces sensation to the index, middle fingers and the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery or carpal tunnel release is the most common treatment for this syndrome where the ligament that presses the median nerve is cut to relieve the pressure and reduce the pain.

Who needs carpal tunnel syndrome surgery?

A person who is suffering from symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness in the wrist or the whole hand, including fingers, which increases in the nighttime requires this surgery. This syndrome can be caused to people with obesity, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, wrist fracture, excessive consumption of alcohol, old age and repetitive wrist work.

Type of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery

It is basically divided into two categories, which are:

1. Endoscopic surgery, where the surgeon uses a telescope like device to see the inside of your carpal tunnel and make an incision in the ligament.

2. Open surgery, where the surgeon makes a larger incision in the hand over the carpal tunnel and release the pressure from the nerve. It offers more pain and higher risks than the endoscopic surgery as it involves a larger incision.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

When the nonsurgical treatment for the condition does not work, carpal tunnel surgery is performed where a cut to the ligament pressing the nerve is made, which relieves the symptoms. An incision is made from the palm of the hand, which allows the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament. Once the ligament is cut, stitches are made to close the skin. General anesthesia is given before the treatment to ease the pain. In open surgery, the patient can discharge from the hospital the same day of the treatment.

Complications

There are hardly any complications associated with carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, however, in some cases, they do occur. These can be:

  • Nerve damage that happens in 1 out of 100 cases
  • Median nerve or any other tissue damage
  • Pain in wrist or hand
  • Tenderness around the scar
  • Infection

Post operative care

The surgery has quite a high success rate where the patient is relieved with symptoms soon after the surgery. However, it is necessary to give rest to the hand for a few days until he/she recovers muscle strength.

The patient begins to use his/her hand gradually as encouraged by the doctor while avoiding excessive force.

Keep your wrists straight while sleeping and using tools.

Avoid activities that involve flexing and extending your wrists.

Recurrence is very rare in carpal tunnel syndrome, however, notify your doctor at once if you experience any symptoms.