Hand & Wrist
Open Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition that is caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist area. Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and tingling sensation in all the fingers except little finger; pain and burning sensation in hand and wrist that may radiate up the arm and elbow; and weakness in hand with diminished grip strength.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated using conservative approaches or surgery. The conservative treatments include:
- Treating underlying medical conditions
- Immobilization of the hand and wrist with a splint or wrist brace for 4-6 weeks
- Rest the hand for 2 weeks or more
- Ice packs to avoid swelling
- Avoid activities that tend to worsen the symptoms
- Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, and steroid injections.
- Strengthening and stretching exercises once symptoms diminish
If conservative treatment options fail to resolve the condition your surgeon may recommend surgical procedure.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with open carpal tunnel release Surgery. Surgeon makes a 2- inch incision in the palm and wrist area. Then the transverse carpal ligament will be dissected to release the pressure on the median nerve and enlarge the carpal tunnel. After the ligament is cut, the incision is closed with sutures and covered with a sterile dressing.
Your surgeon may suggest you to practice certain post-operative procedures for better recovery and to avoid further complications.
- Elevate the hand above heart level to reduce swelling
- A splint may be worn
- Ice packs to the surgical area to reduce swelling
- Keep the surgical incision clean and dry. Cover the area with plastic wrap when bathing or showering
- Physical therapy may be ordered to restore wrist strength
- Eating a healthy diet and not smoking will promote healing
The majority of patients suffer no complications following carpal tunnel release surgery. However some patients may suffer from pain, infections, scarring, and nerve damage causing weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation and stiffness in the hand and wrist area.