Ctr Carpal Tunnel Repair

Overview & Description

Carpal tunnel repair is a surgical procedure that helps to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve in the wrist is compressed and often is irritated. This causes numbness and pain in the fingers and hand. Carpal tunnel repair relieves the compression of the median nerve.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

Carpal tunnel repair is done when other treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome have failed to relieve symptoms. Other treatments include rest, splinting, and physical therapy. If a person has symptoms for more than 4 months, surgery is often considered.

How is the procedure performed?

Carpal tunnel release is usually done in a same-day surgery setting. A local anesthetic is used to numb an area on the palm of the hand. A 2-inch incision is made to free the carpal tunnel ligament from the median nerve. This relieves the pressure on the median nerve.

An endoscopic release is a less-invasive form of surgery. This procedure uses an endoscope, a small fiber-optic camera. The surgeon uses it to look into the carpal tunnel through a small incision in the wrist. A small tube, or cannula, is placed alongside the median nerve. Through this cannula, a special knife is inserted to free the carpal tunnel ligament from the median nerve.

Preparation & Expectations

What happens right after the procedure?

After the surgery, the person will be kept in the surgery recovery room for a few hours. He or she can expect the following:

  • The affected hand will be elevated to decrease swelling.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen may be given to decrease swelling and discomfort.
  • A bulky gauze dressing will be applied.
  • He or she will be able to eat right after surgery.
  • He or she will be discharged from the same-day surgery center within a few hours.
  • Home Care and Complications

    What happens later at home?

    After discharge, the individual will be given instructions for ways to relieve pain and swelling. These include:

  • applying ice for 20 minutes every 2 hours during the first 48 hours
  • avoiding heavy lifting until given the OK by the healthcare provider
  • changing the dressing daily
  • doing finger and wrist exercises according to the surgeon’s instructions
  • elevating the hand above the level of the heart for 48 hours to prevent swelling
  • The pain of carpal tunnel syndrome should clear up within the first 2 weeks after surgery. Full recovery of function and sensation to affected areas may take several weeks or months.

    What are the potential complications after the procedure?

    Surgery can cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia. Specific complications of carpal tunnel release include nerve damage, scarring, and pain.

    Article type: xmedgeneral