Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects your median nerve, which shares a narrow tunnel (carpal tunnel) in your wrist with the tendons that move your fingers. Increased pressure on this nerve can cause numbness and pain in your thumb, index and middle fingers. A wrist support worn at night can help with mild symptoms and a steroid injection can also help to reduce pain and numbness. However, if these prove ineffective then a carpal tunnel release procedure should relieve symptoms and prevent any permanent nerve damage.


During the 20-minute operation, which is normally performed under local anaesthetic, your surgeon will make a small incision in your palm to access and cut the tight ligament known as the flexor retinaculum, which forms the roof of the carpal tunnel.


You’ll normally be able to return home the same day, although your hand should remain bandaged and raised for the next two days. Gently exercising your fingers, elbow and shoulders will prevent stiffness and help you return to your usual activities sooner, but do check with your consultant before you begin exercising.

This page provides information about a carpal tunnel release. Please speak to your consultant for further information.


EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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