Carpal Tunnel Release

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Definition

Carpel tunnel release is a surgery where the ligament covering the carpel tunnel is cut open.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Reasons for Procedure

The median nerve runs from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when this nerve is squeezed at the wrist as it runs through the carpel tunnel. This results in pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in your hand and wrist. Pain may also radiate up your arm. Carpal tunnel release is a surgery to relieve pressure on the median nerve. The pressure is reduced by opening the ligament of the carpal tunnel. The ligament is called the transverse carpal ligament. Surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is usually recommended in the following instances:
  • Other therapies have failed, including icing, splints or braces, anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, physical therapy, or ultrasound.
  • There is shrinkage (atrophy) and weakness of the muscles controlling the thumb.
  • Studies of nerve functioning show the median nerve is not working properly.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have carpal tunnel release, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Scarring
  • Nerve damage
  • Stiffness of the fingers
  • Continued numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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