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Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery at Our Los Angeles Center

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

The small bones that compose each finger are known as your carpal bones. To allow these bones to move and sense things felt with the fingers, nerves must travel through the carpal tunnel. This tunnel runs from your forearm to the palm of your hand and has both tendons and the median nerve running through it, which can make for a tight squeeze.

If your nerves or tendons become inflamed, this can compress the surrounding areas. This can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensations that radiate up the arm

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition, which means it can worsen with time if left untreated. If you work at a profession that involves using tools with your hands or frequently typing on keyboard, these repetitive activities can cause you to experience worsening carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. Women also are more likely to have carpal tunnel than men because their carpal tunnels tend to be smaller in size.

Your physician may first recommend non-surgical methods to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, such as taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, exercises to stretch and strengthen the wrist and bracing to prevent harmful movements. If your symptoms last longer than six months, however, your surgeon may recommend carpal tunnel release as a means to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Release Procedure

Carpal tunnel release surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders. This outpatient procedure can be performed using local anesthesia, which means the area around the carpal tunnel will be numbed. You will not feel your surgeon performing the carpal tunnel release.

Surgeons at miVIP Surgery Centers perform arthroscopic carpal tunnel release, which is a minimally invasive surgical approach. Your surgeon will make two incisions about one-fourth of an inch in length in the wrist and palm and insert a special camera known as an arthroscope into the incision, which allows your physician to visualize the tissues inside. In some instances, only a single incision is needed. Your surgeon will then cut the ligament inside the carpal tunnel. This releases the pressure on the median nerve in your carpal tunnel, thus reducing painful and discomforting symptoms.

Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Risks and Rewards

Immediately following carpal tunnel release, your physician will instruct you to keep your hand elevated, which promotes blood return away from the hand to minimize swelling. You may experience some swelling, stiffness and discomfort following surgery.

The previous surgical method for carpal tunnel release involved making larger cuts in your palm to visualize the carpal tunnel. Arthroscopic carpal tunnel release allows your surgeon to make smaller incisions, which offers benefits including:

  • Smaller surgical scar
  • Less post-operative pain
  • Less bleeding
  • Less infection risk

 

Because the median nerve in your carpal tunnel has been compressed for many months, it may take some time to heal and carpal tunnel symptoms to reduce. While you may experience some immediate symptom relief post-surgery, you may have to wait at least two months before your grip and pinch strength fully return to the hand. In rare instances, symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome can return. Your surgeon may need to perform additional surgical procedures to address recurring symptoms.

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