Carpal tunnel release

Median nerve decompression; Carpal tunnel decompression; Surgery - carpal tunnel

Carpal tunnel release is surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is becoming more frequently recognized and may be occurring more often. It may result from repetitive motion or the use of devices like computer keyboards. It affects the median nerve, the nerve that supplies feeling and movement to the thumb and "thumb-side" of the hand.

Surface anatomy - normal palm

This picture shows the normal appearance of an adult's palm and fingers.

Surface anatomy - normal wrist

This picture shows a normal flexed hand. The tendons that move the fingers and are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are visible just below the wrist.

Wrist anatomy

The median nerve travels through a compartment called the carpal tunnel in the wrist. The ligaments that transverse the nerve are not very flexible. If there is any swelling within the wrist compartment excessive pressure can be put on structures such as the blood vessels and the median nerve. Excessive pressure can constrict bloodflow and cause nerve damage. The symptoms from the compression causes pain, loss of sensation, and decreased function in the hand.

Carpal tunnel repair - series

The tendons and nerve to the hand (median nerve) passes between strong ligaments (carpal ligaments) in the wrist and the wrist bones (carpal tunnel).

Description

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Risks

Before the Procedure

After the Procedure

Outlook (Prognosis)