Orthopedics expert, Dr. John Cluett, advised that when the usage of anti-inflammatory medications, wrist brace, and cortisone injection does not help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome then most likely, there is a need for surgery.
A carpal tunnel syndrome surgery is called ‘release’ which is available and effective in the treatment of such disorder. There are two most common, carpal tunnel open release surgery and carpal tunnel endoscopic release surgery. Both will be looked into in the proceeding paragraphs.
* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery- Open Release
During this kind of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut. This is to release pressure on the median nerve and relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
An incision is made at the base of the palm of the hand. This allows the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament. After the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches. The gap where the ligament was cut is left alone and eventually fills up with scar tissue.
Open carpal tunnel release surgery is usually done under local anesthetic as an outpatient same-day surgery.
Stitches are removed 10 to 14 days after the surgery. It may be recommended to wear a splint for several weeks. The pain and numbness may go away right after surgery or may take several months to subside. Also, avoid heavy use of the treated hand for at least three months.
* Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery- Endoscopic Release
This kind of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached (endoscope). The endoscope is guided through a small incision in the wrist or at the wrist and palm. The endoscope lets the doctor see structures in the wrist, such as the transverse carpal ligament, without opening the entire area with a large incision.
The cutting tools used in endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery are very tiny and are inserted through the small incisions in the wrist or palm.
Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is usually done as a same-day surgery on an outpatient basis.
You can expect a shorter recovery period after an endoscopic surgery than after open surgery. This is because the procedure does not require cutting the palm open and disturbing a large area of the hand. The pain and numbness may go away right after surgery, or it may take several months.
How soon can you return to work depends on whether your dominant hand was involved, your work activities, and the effort that you put into rehabilitative physical therapy?