Carpal tunnel surgery is a procedure for opening up the wrist and relieving the median nerve of pressure to relieve pain, weakness, and sense disturbance caused by Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The wrist contains a sheath of connective tissue that surrounds and protects tendons and nerves, including the median nerve that runs down the length of the arm and forearm. The space between this sheath and the bones is the carpal tunnel.
When the median nerve endures excessive pressure, for example, because of fluid retention or swelling of an inflamed tendon it results in a painful condition known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often complain of aches, ‘pins and needles’, burning or numbness.
Depending on the severity and length of symptoms, a good candidate for carpal tunnel surgery is one who has had symptoms for 10 or more months. These symptoms include, pain, numbness and tingling.
Corrective surgery can be performed by a neurosurgeon or hand surgeon, typically following a treatment of anti-inflammatory drugs which proved to be unsuccessful. Carpal tunnel surgery can be open hand or endoscopic, and involves relieving pressure on the median nerve by cutting the carpal ligament. Carpal tunnel is usually done with a local anesthetic.