When more conservative treatments fail, surgery is a very successful option. Only 5% of patients experience symptoms after surgical treatment.
Endoscopic Release of Carpal Tunnel
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This simple procedure can be done in several ways, depending upon your particular case and the surgeon's experience and preference.
The thick ligament on the palm side of your carpal tunnel is cut, allowing the contents of the tunnel to expand and the pressure to be reduced. The procedure is ordinarily done in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, some circumstances may recommend that the whole arm be "put to sleep" with a nerve block. General anesthesia—where you’re "totally under"—is rarely necessary.
You’ll be put into a hospital gown and taken to a surgical suite (operating room). After you lie down on an operating table, at least one intravenous line will be attached to a needle in your vein, and monitors may be attached to you to keep track of your heartbeat, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. If you've requested it, you may be sedated for additional comfort.
Approaches to carpal tunnel release include:
Each of these procedures takes only a few minutes. Afterward your incision will be closed, and you will be taken briefly to a recovery room where the immediate effects of the sedation or anesthesia can wear off and nurses can monitor you.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aaos.org .
American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org .
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research website. Available at: http://www.mayo.edu .
Last reviewed September 2014 by Teresa Briedwell, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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