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. The median nerve runs through a tight tunnel with tendons, allowing you to bend your fingers.

Dependant on the severity of the condition, a consultant will recommend either a steroid injection or surgery, in cases of severe carpal tunnel syndrome.

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 - with symptoms worsening during the night.

What are the benefits of carpal tunnel release?

Those that undergo successful carpal tunnel release no longer have to endure the effects of CTS. 

Some of the benefits include:

  • No pain and discomfort in the hand and wrist
  • Full use of the hand
  • Easier to sleep at 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 may be given a wrist splint/support to be worn during the night. The splint will prevent the wrist from bending and placing 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. The procedure is usually performed under a local anaesthetic and takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

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. You should keep your hand lifted and bandaged for the first couple of days. It is important to gently exercise your fingers, elbow, and shoulder to prevent stiffness. Hand exercises will be explained to you by the hand therapist.

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.

Treatment Cost

Treatment costs will vary according to your individual needs. The full pricing options will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.

We’d be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. Please call the Helpline on 0800 917 4922 for free and professional advice or submit a contact form here for more information.

To make a fully informed decision, click this link for a guide on what to consider before making a decision.

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