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Carpal Tunnel Decompression

 
 

What is it?

A nerve to your finger ends runs deep inside the front of your wrist (carpus). It runs inside a little tunnel (the carpal tunnel). There is not enough room for the nerve as it runs through the carpal tunnel. It causes pain and tingling in the fingers and hand, and even higher up the forearm.

The Operation

A cut is made in your palm, next to the skin crease that runs up the centre. The roof of the tunnel is then cut to give your nerve more space. The wound is then closed up with stitches or clips. You can be given a local or a general anaesthetic. The choice depends partly on which you prefer, and partly on the anaesthetist and surgeon. Having general anaesthetic means that you will be completely asleep during the operation. Having a local anaesthetic means that you will be awake during the operation, but will not be feel any pain in your hand since the area of the operation is numbed with a local injection. After an hour or two on the ward following the operation, you should feel fit enough to go home.

Any Alternatives

If your symptoms are mild you can try wearing a wrist splint or having a steroid injection into the wrist. If your symptoms really bother you, the best plan is to have the operation.

Before the operation