Carpal tunnel

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Along with the tendons that allow your fingers to bend, the median nerve runs through a narrow tunnel known as the carpal tunnel. Increased pressure on the median nerve, which crosses the front of your wrist, is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Why have this surgery?

Surgery can relieve the pain and numbness often felt in your hand in connection with this condition.

What are the alternatives to surgery?

For many people, a steroid injection near the carpal tunnel often helps reduce numbness or pain. Wrist supports worn at night can also help with mild symptoms.

What exactly does the operation involve?

The operation is fairly quick (approximately twenty minutes) and is frequently performed under local anaesthetic. A small cut to your hand allows your surgeon to access and cut the tight ligament (flexor retinaculum) that acts as the roof of the carpal tunnel.

How quick is recovery?

Usually, you are able to go home on the same day as the operation. For the first couple of days, it is recommended that you keep your hand raised and bandaged. It is advisable to gently exercise your fingers, elbow and shoulders, as this will prevent stiffness. Exercising regularly is recommended to help you resume your normal activities as quickly as possible, however you must remember to get advice from your healthcare professional or GP before you begin exercising. Improvements in your symptoms may continue for up to six months.


Carpal tunnel release alleviates numbness and pain in your thumb, index and middle fingers, as well as preventing irreversible nerve damage.


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