Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: December 21, 2011

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects over 500000 people in the United States alone. Carpal tunnel surgery is an orthopedic treatment performed about in 70 percent of cases to relieve symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition caused by the compression of the meridian nerve in the wrist. 




What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition affecting the main nerve connecting the wrist, hand and forearm, the meridian nerve. The carpal tunnel is an area at the base of the hand which holds the tendons, ligaments and meridian nerve. If the tendons become swollen the meridian nerve is compressed within the carpal tunnel and the patient will experience symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The meridian nerve controls muscle movement and feeling to the thumb and fingers. If the nerve becomes compressed, the signals cannot reach the hand correctly and it may become difficult and painful to use the hand and wrist. 


The first symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are tingling or burning sensation in the finger tips. Numbness in the palm of the hand, fingers and thumb are often the symptoms that alert patients to a problem.


As the meridian nerve becomes more compressed, patients experience loss of feeling in the fingers and an inability to perform movements that require small muscle adjustments, such as clenching a fist, can be difficult and painful.


Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome often requires carpal tunnel surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Medication to relieve swelling in the wrist may relieve symptoms however if patients continue to experience symptoms for more than 6 weeks, surgery is recommended.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Procedure

The purpose of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve inside the carpal tunnel. To do this, orthopedic surgeons cut the transverse carpal ligament and tissue surrounding the nerve.


Carpal tunnel surgery can be performed as open surgery or endoscopic surgery. If the procedure is open surgery, an incision is made at the base of the hand to expose the ligament. If the orthopedic surgeon performs the procedure endoscopically, small incisions are made in the wrist and a camera is inserted to guide the surgery.


After the ligament has been severed the pressure on the nerve is released and patients should see relief from symptoms almost immediately.


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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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