Carpal tunnel release

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where there is increased pressure on a nerve that crosses the front of your wrist (the median nerve).

The median nerve runs through a tight tunnel, together with the tendons that bend your fingers (see figure 1).

What are the benefits of surgery?

Carpal tunnel release surgery should give you relief from pain and numbness in your hand.

Are there any alternatives to surgery?

If your symptoms are mild, a wrist support worn at night often helps.

A steroid injection near the carpal tunnel can reduce the numbness or pain in most people.

Carpal tunnel release diagram

What does the operation involve?

The operation can usually be performed under a local anaesthetic and usually takes about 20 minutes.

Your surgeon will make a small cut on the palm of your hand. They will cut the tight ligament (called the flexor retinaculum) that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. This stops the nerve being compressed.

What complications can happen?

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring

 

Specific complications

  • Numbness in your thumb, index and middle fingers
  • Tenderness of the scar
  • Aching in your wrist
  • Return of numbness and pain
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of your hand (complex regional pain syndrome)

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day. Keep your hand raised and bandaged for two days. It is important to gently exercise your fingers, elbow and shoulder to prevent stiffness.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Your symptoms may continue to improve for up to six months.

Summary

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness in your thumb, index and middle fingers. A carpal tunnel release should improve your symptoms and prevent permanent nerve damage.

Self-pay guide price

From £1,555

 

Self-pay package details

Carpal tunnel release is performed at The Foscote Hospital by

  • Mr Geza Kordas

    Mr Geza Kordas

    Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

    MD PhD

    Learn more

Acknowledgements

Author: Prof Tim Davis ChM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Copyright © 2018 EIDO Healthcare Limited. The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and used under licence by The Foscote Hospital. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited. You may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information other than for your personal, non-commercial use.