The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often become more bothersome over time and impact more and more on day to day life. Disturbed sleep, missing out on activities and constant pain are familiar to many who suffer from the condition. Thankfully, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery offers permanent relief.
While other options, such as steroid injections and wrist splints can temporarily improve the pain, numbness and tingling caused by the condition, surgery is the only cure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In fact, Carpal Tunnel surgery, also referred to as Carpal Tunnel Release and Carpal Tunnel Decompression, often alleviates symptoms immediately after the operation.
The operation usually takes less than ten minutes, and, as it is performed under local anaesthetic, there is no need for an overnight stay which means you can go home the same day. However, it is strongly advised that you do not drive immediately following surgery or for at least ten days afterwards.
What happens during Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery?
During surgery, a small incision is made in either the palm or wrist to gain access to the carpal ligament. The ligament is then cut to enlarge the carpal tunnel and reduce pressure on the median nerve. The site is closed with stitches, and your hand is covered to protect the wound and discourage use of the hand and wrist.
Carpal Tunnel surgery aftercare
Often symptoms improve almost immediately following surgery however some temporary swelling and tenderness can be experienced straight after the operation, and over-the-counter pain relief can be helpful. Rest is recommended for 24 hours post-surgery, and the hand should be kept as dry as possible during that time.
Full recovery can take up to six weeks during which time it is advised that the hand and wrist are rested, particularly from repetitive actions such as writing and gardening. However, you can begin driving again after only ten days.
You can return to work soon after the operation and depending on your work duties adaptations may be required in the short term to allow time for the wound to heal fully. At Nottingham Road Clinic, we offer you a sick note to give you time to recover fully.
Stitches are removed in ten to fourteen days post-operation, and here at Nottingham Road Clinic, the wound is checked at six weeks to ensure symptoms have been relieved. While some people experience a temporary loss of grip, which resolves itself over time, and a small scar where the incision was made, it is unlikely that you will experience any long-lasting adverse effects of surgery.
Benefits of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome surgery
- Significant improvement in symptoms immediately following surgery
- Short, painless procedure
- Full recovery within weeks
- Symptoms are unlikely to recur
Carpal Tunnel surgery is the gold standard treatment because it is the only permanent solution for the condition. However, time is critical – the longer the nerve is compressed the more difficult it becomes to resolve and so the condition is best treated in the early stages for a more reliable chance of complete relief of symptoms.