Carpal Tunnel Surgery
You may be experiencing pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your hands if you are suffering from carpal tunnel. Your tissues surrounding the flexor tendons swell which puts pressure on the median nerve. Repetitive hand or wrist movements over a long period of time cause this pain. If your parents or grandparents had carpal tunnel, you are at an increased risk of also having it. If you’re pregnant or have a health condition like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or a thyroid gland imbalance you might be at an increased risk to have carpal tunnel. Finally increased pressure on the nerve in your hand or wrist due to a position held for a long period of time can increase your chances of having carpal tunnel.
How to Prepare for Surgery
You won’t be able to eat the day you have surgery. You should be able to continue drinking water as normal. Just avoid drinking other beverages, like soda, juice, or milk. We may ask that you quit taking certain medications like aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs a few days before surgery. Make sure we know what medications you take regularly.
This procedure is an outpatient procedure with a local anesthetic which means you can return home after you wake up from surgery. We will make an incision at the base of the palm. This allows us the ability to see your carpal ligament. After we cut the ligament your skin surgery is complete. Your hand will be wrapped when you wake up from surgery.
Be careful of your hand for one to two weeks until your incision heals. Then in a follow-up appointment, we will remove the stitches. Your pain may take up to several months to subside, however many patients experience immediate relief after surgery. Avoid using your hand for up to three months. Depending on which hand you have surgery on, you may be able to return to normal activities in six to eight weeks. However, if surgery was performed on your least dominant hand you may be able to return to normal activities as early as seven to 14 days.
We cut the transverse carpal ligament which will release pressure on the nerve and relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some patients still experience pain after surgery and others experience temporary loss of strength when pinching or gripping an object. Other possible complications include infection, blood loss, and nerve damage as with any surgery.
Most people who underwent surgery for pain associated with carpal tunnel have fewer or no symptoms of pain after surgery.