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UR Medicine / Neurosurgery / Services / Treatments / Carpal Tunnel Surgery


Carpal Tunnel Surgery

         For more information, please visit our Peripheral Nerve Neurosurgery Program site

What is it?

Surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel which is a small space in your wrist at the base of the palm. The carpal ligament can become inflamed or thickened and press on the nerve.

What is the goal?

To alleviate pain and numbness in your fingers.

How is it done?

An incision is made over the bone behind the ear of the affected side. An operative microscope is used to identify and visualize the nerve. Often an insert such as Teflon is placed between the nerve and offending artery or vein. Nerve function is monitored during the procedure.

What are the risks?

There are always risks with any surgery. Potential complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Nerve Damage

How long will I be in the hospital?

You will go home the same day as the surgery.

Going home

You will be given additional instructions on the day you are discharged which will include:

  • No driving while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • Do not carry heavy items, such as groceries or laundry. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until told otherwise by your doctor.
  • You may use your hand for light activity such as eating, dressing or typing.
  • Move your fingers frequently to help resolve the swelling.
  • You may shower if you cover your hand for the first week.