What Can I Expect After Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

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Waking up because your hands are numb. Dropping the brush when you're trying to do your hair. Taking a break because you just can't type anymore. Carpal tunnel syndrome can negatively impact your day-to-day activities. Surgery may provide the relief you need.

Identification

  • Your median nerve runs down the arm and through your wrist. When that nerve is compressed due to inflammation or pressure in your carpal tunnel, you may feel numbness, tingling or pain in your fingers. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur in one or both hands.

Significance

  • Carpal tunnel release surgery partially severs the carpal ligament. The release provides more room for the tendons and nerves that run through the ligament, preventing the median nerve from being compressed.

Types

  • There are two methods of carpal tunnel surgery. In open release, the surgeon accesses the tissue through an incision in your wrist. In endoscopic surgery, the doctor makes one or two small incisions and employs a camera as an aid for the surgery.

Potential

  • The numbness, tingling and pain you've experienced from carpal tunnel syndrome should be immediately relieved after surgery. However, some surgery-related pain and weakness is to be expected. Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms is rare after surgery.

Considerations

  • Surgery is not the only treatment option. Your doctor may recommend stretching exercises or anti-inflammatory medications (oral or injected).

References

  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Claire Powers
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