Carpal Tunnel Release
About Carpal Tunnel Release:
Carpal tunnel release is surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. The median nerve and the tendons that flex (or curl) your fingers go through a passage called the carpal tunnel in your wrist. This tunnel is narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain. A thick ligament (tissue) just under your skin makes up the top of this tunnel.
Patients with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually try non-surgical treatments first. These are:
- Anti-inflammatory medicines
- Occupational therapy
- Workplace changes to improve your seating and how you use equipment at work
- Wrist splints
- Shots of corticosteroid medicine into the carpal tunnel
If none of these treatments help, some surgeons will test the electrical activity of the median nerve with an EMG. If the test shows that the problem is carpal tunnel syndrome, carpal tunnel release surgery may be recommended.
Risks of carpal tunnel release are:
- Allergic reactions to medicines
- Injury to the median nerve or nerves that branch off of it
- Rarely, injury to another nerve or blood vessel (artery or vein)
- Scar sensitivity