What’s Involved in Carpal Tunnel Release?

Complex structures of nerves, tendons, and muscles give sensation and motion to your hands. Healthy wrists and hands have a full range of sensation and motion, but up to 5% of American adults have carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful condition that impacts nerves and tendons.

Carpal tunnel syndrome often causes tingling pain or numbness. Along with pain and limited mobility, untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to finger weakness and reduced coordination. It can inhibit your ability to carry out daily tasks, but the good news is that there are a variety of treatments to restore mobility and eliminate pain.

With nearly 20 years of experience performing carpal tunnel procedures with the Brown technique, Walter D. Gracia, MD, PA specializes in minimally invasive hand surgery and carpal tunnel release. You don’t have to live with the painful symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome — it’s time to find out what’s involved in carpal tunnel release.

When to consider carpal tunnel release

Your carpal tunnel is a small passageway in your wrist. It protects your median nerve, which controls sensory and motor function within your hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when swelling or inflammation puts pressure on your median nerve.

Anyone can get carpal tunnel syndrome, and a couple of the most common causes are overuse or injury. Genetics may influence your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, and people with diabetes, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, too.

Carpal tunnel syndrome often starts with mild or intermittent pain that can be managed with non-surgical treatments, but it can get worse over time. Signs that it’s time to consider carpal tunnel release surgery include:

Dr. Gracia and our team perform comprehensive hand and wrist exams and we’re here to help you determine if you could benefit from carpal tunnel surgery. If you choose carpal tunnel release, the surgery involves cutting your transverse carpal ligament to relieve pressure on your median nerve. 

What happens during carpal tunnel release

Dr. Gracia and our team perform endoscopic carpal tunnel release procedures. Most carpal tunnel procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and they take less than half an hour in the office.

We begin by making a very small incision in your wrist or palm, and guide a small camera into the incision. The camera gives our team an inside look at the structure of your wrist, without the need for a large incision.

Dr. Gracia uses small surgical tools to locate and cut the transverse carpal ligament in your wrist. Once the ligament is cut, he closes the incisions. Cutting the transverse carpal ligament takes pressure off your median nerve and relieves your carpal tunnel symptoms.

Carpal tunnel release immediately relieves your symptoms. You’ll leave the office with your wrist in a splint and bandage. Recovery may take several weeks, and you can expect to participate in a physical therapy program to rebuild strength in your wrist and hand.

You don’t have to live with the pain and stiffness of carpal tunnel syndrome. Find out if carpal tunnel release is right for you at your consultation with Dr. Gracia. Call our office at 817-336-9450 or request an appointment online now.

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