Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common complaint whose symptoms primarily affect the hand and sometimes the forearm, but can radiate up to the shoulder, disrupting transmission of sensations from the hand up to the arm and to the central nervous system. Symptoms often occur in both hands but are usually worse in one hand. With moderate or severe CTS, patients may have numbness or reduced strength and grip in the fingers, thumb or hand. When patients experience severe pain that cannot be relieved through rest, rehabilitation or nonsurgical treatment, they may be a candidate for minimally invasive carpal tunnel release surgery.
Carpal tunnel release surgery can provide significant relief for people who have not been able to alleviate their hand and wrist pain through nonsurgical measures. CTR, or carpal tunnel release, is generally an outpatient procedure and may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist will decide the best method for you depending on your age and health condition. Once taken to the operating room, anesthetized, and properly positioned; this surgery involves a small incision in the wrist, through which a miniaturized camera is used to view the carpal tunnel. The ligament at the bottom of the wrist is cut to relieve pressure. Pressure on the nerve is lessened by creating an incision in the ligament which forms the top of the tunnel, on the palm side of the hand. Surgery generally is complete in under one hour. After surgery, tenderness around the incision may last for some time. Recovery can take some months to achieve. Patients recover and return to work and activities faster than with open-incision techniques, but should avoid repetitive use of the hand for four weeks after surgery. Recurrence of symptoms is rare, and most patients recover completely.