Sometimes you get inflammation or swelling in this tunnel, causing the nerve to become trapped or pinched, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome. This causes numbness or tingling in the palm of your hand. Other times, it can cause weakness in your hand, making it difficult to grip or pick things up. Repetitive movements like typing on a computer can cause this condition; however, other times it is simply genetics and based on your anatomy.
Two Types of Surgery: Open or Endoscopic Release
Two types of surgery that can be done to fix this condition; open or endoscopic release. An open release is more common. During the open-release surgery, an incision is made perpendicular to the wrist and the ligament band covering the carpal tunnel (on the palm side of the wrist) is released, allowing more space for the nerve.? During the endoscopic release, your surgeon makes two smaller incisions at your wrist. Through one incision, an endoscope or small surgical camera is placed into your wrist. Through the second incision, a surgical tool is used to release the ligament. Both surgeries have similar recovery times, getting you back to your desired activities in two to six weeks. Depending on the severity of the damage to your nerve, it can take up to a year before you reach maximum recovery of sensation in your hand. Even after surgery, sometimes full sensation never returns, which is why it is important to be evaluated sooner rather than later.
After this procedure, stitches are used to close your incision(s) and the site is covered with a bulky bandage. Typically, you can remove the bandaging 24-48 hours after surgery and are allowed to bathe; however, the hand should not be soaked in water. Your stitches will be removed 10-14 days after surgery when you meet with a Physician Assistant or your surgeon to review what was found during your surgery. At that time, you are able to use the hand as tolerated, though the incision may be sore for up to a few months. Your surgeon will tell your family exactly what your restrictions are after surgery.