Carpal Tunnel Release

Surgery is performed as a day case procedure.


This is usually performed as a day case. The procedure may be performed under either a general anaesthetic, arm block or local anaesthetic. A tourniquet may be used. The hand and wrist are prepared with antiseptic solution and local anaesthetic is injected into the cut. A small cut is made over the hand immediately below the wrist.

The cut is extended down through tissue (called flexor retinaculum and the transverse carpal ligament), which is compressing the nerve. The nerve is identified and freed of compression by this tissue. The wound is then sutured and a dressing applied. A tourniquet, if used, is then removed.

Risks of this procedure

  • Infection around the wound.
  • Bleeding around the wound.
  • Nerve damage resulting in weakness and/or numbness of the fingers. Rarely this requires reoperation.
  • Damage to tendons. This may require repair of these tendons.
  • Failure of resolution of the symptoms.
  • Tenderness around the scar, which may be permanent

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