Carpal Tunnel Surgery

What Is It?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. This could be due to tendon enlargement, arthritis, fractures or increased fluid in the wrist (which could be a result of pregnancy or increased weight). The symptoms are usually worse at night and may be aggravated  by driving.

Surgery releases where the nerve is trapped over the carpal tunnel area in your wrist. It is a small incision on the palm of your hand. It is necessary when you are waking up several times in the night, have consistent pain and/or there is noticeable deterioration of your median nerve. This deterioration can be detected in a nerve conduction study.

What May I Experience?

  • immediate relief from pins & needles
  • tenderness over incision site
  • swelling & stiffness in fingers
  • weakness
  • sensitive scar

What Should I Do?

In order to rest the nerves, after the trauma of the surgery and the prolonged compression they have experienced in the wrist, the carpal tunnel needs to be immobilised for approximately six weeks at nighttime.  This is done using a custom made splint that keeps your wrist in a comfortable, neutral position.  You will be given tendon gliding exercises, nerve glides, strengthening exercises and methods to minimise swelling.


What Can I Expect?

It depends on the severity and cause of the nerve compression.  If your symptoms are recent, then you can expect a full recovery over a six week period.  If the symptoms have been around for a long time and the pain is intense, then you will require a longer recovery time.

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