Who needs carpal tunnel release surgery?
If you suffer from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and have already tried non-invasive therapies, such as rest, behavior modification, wrist splints, and anti-inflammatory drugs, then carpal tunnel release surgery may be right for you. Dr. Burt Faibisoff, a board-certified plastic surgeon and hand surgeon at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery, performs this outpatient procedure for patients with CTS throughout Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Faibisoff is on the medical staff at Mountain Vista Medical Center.
What is the objective of carpal tunnel release surgery?
The objective of carpal tunnel release surgery is to relieve pressure on the median nerve, which is contained by the carpal tunnel. Pressure relief is achieved by making an incision in the transverse carpal ligament, which covers the carpal tunnel at the base of the palm. Once pressure is relieved, the median nerve should no longer cause symptoms of numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hand and fingers.
How is the surgery performed?
Carpal tunnel release surgery may be performed as an endoscopic or open surgery. Both approaches have their own pros and cons. Your Mesa hand surgeon will talk with you more about which surgical technique is best for you.
Using an open surgery approach, your hand surgeon will make an incision at the base of the palm. Working through this incision, the surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament, relieving pressure on the carpal tunnel.
With an endoscopic approach, the surgeon makes one or two smaller incisions in the hand or wrist. A tiny endoscope, which allows the surgeon to see the inside of your wrist on a video monitor, is inserted through one of the incisions. The transverse carpal ligament is cut from within the wrist to relieve pressure.
Both of these procedures are performed as outpatient procedures. Assuming no complications, patients typically go home just a few hours after surgery.
What is the recovery process like?
After the surgery, the cut ligament naturally begins to rejoin and strengthen. However, the reformed ligament should not compress the carpal tunnel like it did prior to surgery.
Sutures may be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. Patients may experience some soreness and weakness for several weeks to a few months. Your hand surgeon will give you post-operative instructions on how much you can use your hand. Generally, patients can use their fingers for light activity just a few days after surgery. However, you will likely be instructed to avoid any kind of heavy lifting or gripping for at least four to six weeks after surgery.
What risks are associated with this procedure?
At Four Peaks Plastic Surgery, every effort is made to limit the opportunity for risk and complication. Potential risks include:
- Wound infection
- Incomplete release of transverse carpal ligament
- Nerve or vascular injuries
Risks are uncommon. Ask your hand surgeon in Mesa about his or her experience with this procedure to find out more about the likelihood of developing complications. Also, you can follow your health care team’s instructions to limit your risk for infection and prevent scarring.
How effective is carpal tunnel release surgery?
Carpal tunnel release surgery is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome in more than 90 percent of patients. Evidence indicates that patients who receive treatment before symptoms are severe may be more likely to get complete relief than patients who wait until symptoms are severe. Also, it is important to remember that in order for the procedure to be effective, the diagnosis of CTS must be accurate. See a trusted, board-certified surgeon in Mesa, AZ for a thorough evaluation and accurate diagnosis.
Schedule an Appointment With a Board-Certified Hand Surgeon (Mesa, AZ)
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Faibisoff, a carpal tunnel release surgeon in Mesa, AZ, call 480-257-2670. You can also book your appointment at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery online. Unsure if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or not? Use our free online risk assessment tool to learn more. Take the assessment!