Carpal Tunnel Home > Carpal Tunnel Release

A type of surgical procedure, carpal tunnel release can help relieve pressure on the median nerve to improve symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. There are two methods of performing this type of surgery: open and endoscopic. Although each method is performed differently, both have similar expected results and potential complications.

An Overview of Carpal Tunnel Release

A carpal tunnel release is a procedure intended to relieve pressure on a specific nerve in your wrist, called the median nerve. When the median nerve is compressed, symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and pain (usually in the thumb, index, and middle fingers) can occur. It is also common for your affected hand to feel clumsy.
 
There are two ways that a carpal tunnel release can be performed:
 
Each type of carpal tunnel release differs in the way that it is performed; however, the expected results and potential complications are similar.
 

The Specifics

To begin either type of carpal tunnel release, after the anesthesia has taken effect, a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to temporarily stop the blood flow to your hand and wrist. This allows your doctor to see the surgical area clearly.
 
To help reduce the chance of infection, the area will be scrubbed with a special soap, and you will be covered with sterile sheets. The only area exposed will be your forearm and hand.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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