Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that causes pain and discomfort in the hand and wrist due to increased pressure on the nerve that crosses the front of the wrist. This is called the median nerve and runs through a tight tunnel of tendons, allowing you to bend your fingers.

"The wound has healed well, and I stopped experiencing pain in my hand at night immediately. The numbness I had in my fingers before the op took longer to go, this started to disappear after about 2 months, but after 4 months it has almost completely gone. So the operation was very successful and has freed me from a lot of pain. Mr Harley was most efficient and skillful, and is also considerate, easy to talk to and helpful."

Carpal Tunnel Release Patient

Why You Might Need Carpal Tunnel Release

You may require carpal tunnel release if you feel pain and discomfort when moving your fingers and wrist. One of the first signs of CTS is numbness in the thumb, index finger and middle finger – symptoms tend to worsen during the night.

What Does Carpal Tunnel Release Involve?

The specific type of treatment that is required is dependent on the severity of CTS present. If your symptoms are mild, then you may be offered a steroid injection which will alleviate the pain in the short term but may well come back. Or you could be given a wrist splint/support to be worn during the night. The splint will prevent the wrist from bending and reducing the pressure on the median nerve which causes pain and discomfort.

In more severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the most effective treatment will be surgery (under local anaesthetic). If surgery is the best option for your case, your surgeon will make a cut to the carpal ligament to reduce the pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

Recovery Time

This operation is usually performed as a day case or outpatient procedure which means you can go home on the day of surgery.

Generally, following surgery, your symptoms may continue to improve for up to six months, or even longer if the carpal tunnel syndrome was related to work.

How to Find Us

See directions from our most popular locations: London, Tunbridge Wells, Reigate, Redhill, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Dorking.

For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline for free and professional advice.

This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Oliver Harley MBBS, BSc, MBA, FRCSEd(Plastic Surgery) Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.