Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (cont.)
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
When nonsurgical treatment has failed or for more advanced cases, surgical treatment of the carpal tunnel syndrome may be considered. The goal of surgery is to take pressure off the nerve at the wrist. Surgery is typically done at an outpatient center. The surgeon will make a small cut over the palmar side of the wrist and then release the ligament that covers the carpal tunnel. By releasing the ligament, the size of the carpal tunnel increases and pressure is relieved on the nerve in the carpal tunnel.
Overall, surgery is very safe, but some risks do exist, including infection, wound healing difficulty, stiffness, wound pain, and nerve injury. Some people experience immediate relief in their hand once the pressure on the nerve is eliminated with surgery. Other people do not experience immediate relief due to more long-standing and severe pressure on the nerve.
After surgery, a dressing is placed over the surgical wound. The fingers are left free for immediate use. Most people feel comfortable to use their hand for light activities within a day or two after surgery. People can return to light jobs three to four weeks after surgery and heavy work about six weeks after surgery.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014
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