Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be treated with several surgical options, each with its own specific process:

  1. Open Release Surgery: This traditional surgical approach involves a small incision in the palm of your hand to expose the carpal tunnel. The transverse carpal ligament is cut to relieve pressure on the median nerve.
  2. Endoscopic Surgery: A minimally invasive procedure, it involves one or two small incisions in the hand or wrist. A camera attached to an endoscope is inserted to guide the surgeon in cutting the transverse carpal ligament.

Expected Surgery Outcome

The primary aim of the surgery is to relieve the symptoms of CTS, such as numbness, tingling, and pain in the affected hand. Most patients will experience immediate symptom relief, though full recovery can take months. The success rate for both open and endoscopic surgery is generally high.

Potential surgery complications and risks

While carpal tunnel surgery is generally considered safe, any surgical procedure can entail risks. Common complications may include wound infection, nerve damage, stiffness in the hand or wrist, and a possible need for further surgeries.

Risks

  • Infection: Despite sterile conditions, there’s always a small risk of infection with any surgical procedure.
  • Nerve damage: There’s a slight chance the median or other nerves in the hand may be injured during surgery.
  • Bleeding: As with any surgery, there’s a risk of excessive bleeding.
  • Incomplete ligament release: In some cases, the ligament may not be fully released, requiring further surgery.

Recovery after surgery

Following surgery, a patient should keep their hand elevated and move their fingers to reduce swelling and prevent stiffness. Physiotherapy may also be recommended to restore wrist strength. Full recovery can take several months, during which a patient may experience some pain, stiffness, and weakness in the hand and wrist. However, these conditions are likely to improve over time.