This procedure involves making an incision in the palm of the hand to relieve pressure on the median nerve.
The carpal tunnel is a space formed by wrist bones (carpal bones) and a wrist-supporting ligament that sits on top of the bones (transverse carpal ligament).
Surgical procedures to treat carpal tunnel syndrome include:
The costs associated with this care path are for an open carpal tunnel release.
CTS can be caused by any condition that increases the pressure on the carpal tunnel and median nerve. This includes:
In some cases, no specific cause can be identified.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of CTS. They will ask about your health history, current symptoms, work activities and hobbies. A physical exam may include a variety of simple tests to determine the degree of irritation of the median nerve. These tests include:
Your healthcare provider may also recommend electromyography, nerve conduction studies, imaging studies and blood tests to determine if a specific condition is responsible for your symptoms.
The symptoms of CTS may resolve on their own, especially if you are young. Initial treatment (also called conservative or non-surgical treatment) for mild to moderate symptoms of CTS may include:
If an underlying illness such as a thyroid condition, diabetes or arthritis is causing your symptoms, treatment should first focus on the underlying illness. This may resolve your CTS symptoms. However, your healthcare provider may recommend a carpal tunnel release if you have:
Prior to the procedure, tell your healthcare provider about any medications you are taking (including over the counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:
A carpal tunnel release is often done by an orthopedic surgeon in an outpatient facility.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you've had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a carpal tunnel release?
After your surgery, you should know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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