Carpal Tunnel Release
What is carpal tunnel release surgery?
Carpal tunnel release surgery is performed on those who suffer from carpal tunnel
syndrome, where too much pressure is placed on the median nerve in the wrist, causing
pain or numbness. Carpal tunnel release surgery can help relieve this pain by cutting the
carpal ligament to release pressure on the nerve.
Who can benefit from carpal tunnel release surgery?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect anybody, and risk of developing the syndrome increases
with age. It is not always known why the carpal tunnel syndrome develops, although some
put this down to lifestyle and working practise (for example jobs involving stress on the
wrist and hands). These factors can cause aching, numbness or tingling in the hand (and
sometimes the arm), which may become permanent. Individuals who suffer from these
symptoms should speak to their doctor about considering carpal tunnel release surgery.
There are two types of carpal tunnel release surgery, which are performed under local or
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery - Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
surgery involves one or two small incisions being made in the palm of the hand, and
a small camera being inserted so that the surgeon can view the surgery on a TV
screen. The carpal ligament is then cut which releases pressure on the median nerve
and creates space for the nerves and ligaments in the carpal tunnel.
Open carpal tunnel release surgery - Open surgery involves a cut of around 6cm
being made in the palm of the hand (possibly extending to the wrist) and then
through the underlying muscle and tissue, so that the carpal ligament can be
released. As with endoscopic carpal release surgery, this releases the pressure on
the median nerve. The surgeon then closes the ends of the carpal ligament, leaving
them separated. After both procedures, the incisions are then closed with sutures
and the hand bandaged and supported with a s