Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery: What To Expect

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Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery: What To Expect

10 April 2017
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog

Suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome is often thought of as a simple problem, but when you constantly use your hands and wrists at work and home, this condition can be huge problem that interferes with even the simplest of tasks. Thankfully, open carpal tunnel release is a form of hand surgery that can provide almost immediate relief. If you have been dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome for far too long, it is a good idea to talk to a hand surgery specialist about this procedure. Before you go, take the time to look at these common questions and answers about open carpal tunnel release surgery.

What exactly is open carpal tunnel release surgery?

To understand open carpal tunnel release surgery, you must first understand where the pain is radiating from with the condition. In most cases, the pain that you feel in your hands and wrists is caused by pressure on the median nerve that is cause by a ligament known as the transverse carpal ligament. During open carpal tunnel release surgery, this ligament is cut, which relieves the pressure on the median nerve. 

How complicated is this surgical procedure on your hand?

One of the greatest things about open carpal tunnel release surgery is its simplicity. Most of the time, this surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure at a local hospital or surgical center under general anesthesia. A small incision is made just at the base of the palm to access the ligament, the cut is made, and then the incision is stitched closed. Most patients are allowed to leave soon after the procedure.  

How long does it take to recover from open carpal tunnel release surgery?

Recovery after surgery will depend on a few factors, including how quickly your body tends to heal. Whether or not you can return to work soon after will depend on whether the hand you had surgery on was the one you use most often and what type of work you do. Some patients do claim that they feel a change in pain levels almost immediately after surgery. Regardless, your hand will likely be wrapped until the stitches are removed, and you may have to restrict use of the hand for a few weeks to give your incision and hand time to heal. Successful open carpal tunnel surgery depends on the body's ability to generate scar tissue where the ligament was cut away, and this can take a little time to occur. 

For more information about the surgery or other treatment options, contact a health professional or visit websites like