What is a carpal tunnel release?

Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel release is a surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common disorder caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. It can lead to pain, numbness, and sometimes disability of the hands. Carpal tunnel release involves relieving pressure on the median nerve by cutting part of the carpal ligament. This band of tissue holds the wrist joint together.

Carpal tunnel release is a common surgery but has risks and potential complications. Your doctor will probably recommend less invasive treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome before considering carpal tunnel release for you. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a carpal tunnel release.

Medical Reviewers: Daphne E. Hemmings, MD, MPH Last Review Date: Jul 11, 2013

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Medical References

  1. Carpal Tunnel Release. Southern California Orthopedic Institute.
  2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
  3. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  4. Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release (ECTR). The Hand and Wrist Institute at DISC.

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