Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery is considered when pain, tingling and other symptoms are still present after a long period of trying non-surgical treatment. If there are signs of nerve damage, surgery is more urgent and may be performed sooner.
Severe symptoms that restrict normal daily activities – including persistent loss of feeling or coordination in the fingers or hand, no strength in the thumb, etc. – may also indicate that Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery should be performed sooner rather than later.
Additionally, if there is damage to the median nerve (shown by nerve test results and loss of hand or finger function), or tumors or other growths need to be removed, surgery is generally indicated.
Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery Procedure
In traditional Carpal Tunnel Surgery During – also known as open carpal tunnel release surgery – a wide incision is made in the wrist (at the base of the palm) to allow the surgeon to fully see the ligament and surrounding structures.
The surgeon then cuts the transverse carpal ligament, which releases pressure on the median nerve and relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
After the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches. The gap where the ligament was cut is left alone, and will eventually naturally fill in with scar tissue.
Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery is usually done under local anesthetic, and you can go home on the same day. Unless you have additional medical issues, Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis – and you generally do not need to stay in the hospital.
Recovery after Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery
After surgery, your hand and wrist will be wrapped. In some cases, the pain and numbness may go away immediately after surgery – in other cases it may takes days, weeks or months for the pain to gradually subside.
The stitches will typically be removed 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. However, you should try to avoid heavy use of your hand for up to 3 months.
When you can return to work will depend upon whether the Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery was on your dominant hand (the hand you use most), as well as your type of work activities and duties.
If the surgery was on your non-dominant hand, and you do not use that hand for repeated actions or heavy work, you may be able to return to work in 7 to 14 days. However, if you had Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery on your dominant hand, and you do repeated actions or heavy work, you may not be able to return to work for 6 to 8 weeks.
Risks of Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery
The risk and complication rates of Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery are extremely low, with problems such as nerve damage happening in less than 1% of patients. As with any type of surgery, there is a low but possible risk of infection.
Since the majority of open carpal tunnel surgery is done with local anesthesia, rather than with general anesthesia, there is very little risk of complications from anesthesia.
Because open carpal tunnel surgery has a larger incision, it and may have a longer recovery period with more discomfort than endoscopic surgery.
However, most people who have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome have fewer or no symptoms of pain and numbness in their hand after surgery – making the surgery well worth it!
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Clarkston
If you think you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Dr. Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation.
As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of conditions like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.