surgeryCarpal tunnel syndrome affects the median nerve and compresses it. This nerve controls all movement and sensation in the thumb and all fingers except the pinky. Because of the abnormal pressure on the median nerve, a person who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome will have a difficult time gripping objects and may lose much of the sensation they feel in their hands.

Carpal Tunnel: What To Expect From Open Carpal Surgery

How Does The Surgery Work?

The surgeon will make a small incision at the base of the hand to get a good view of the transverse carpal ligament. They will be able to assess the damage at this point. This ligament will be cut to release the pressure on the median nerve. After this, the surgeon will close up the wound with stitches. The ligament will be left alone to repair itself.

Why The Surgery Needs To Be Done

There are many reasons why open carpal surgery will be recommended by hand and wrist specialists. Non-surgical methods will be suggested first. If these are not successful, the physician will likely recommend surgery to correct and get rid of the pressure on the nerve. There is also a chance that nerve damage or tumor growth is present in the area. In these cases, patients may also benefit from this surgical procedure.

What To Expect

The recovery from this surgery will be accompanied by some level of pain, just like with any operation. A person will expect to go home with their wrists wrapped in bandages and will be given a prescription of pain medications to help them deal with the pain of recovering from the procedure. There may be some numbness or tingling present in the exact area where the incision is. This sensation may subside after a few days to a few months. Slowly, you will be able to regain the feeling back into your hand and wrist.

You may be able to return to work and your normal daily activities after six to eight weeks following the surgery. However, it is a good idea to listen to your doctor’s recommendations when it comes to when it may be safe to return to work. Your doctor will be able to give you an accurate timeframe as to your recovery and what you can be able to expect from it. 

If you have any questions or hesitations about having the surgery done, it is a good idea to talk to your surgeon and have them clear any doubts before the operation day. This will help you put your mind at ease and help you recover more quickly when the surgery will be finished.


Although there are some moderate risks associated with open carpal tunnel surgery, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. Dealing with carpal tunnel pain on a daily basis is stressful as well as challenging. A low-risk surgery that aims to correct the nerve problems will be a very welcome option for people who suffer from this condition.

If you are looking for possible solutions for the pain you feel because of your carpal tunnel syndrome, it is best to seek diagnosis and treatment from specialists that handle hand and wrist issues. North Florida Hand and Wrist Center is led by Dr. Richard D. Curtis and Dr. Jose Baez,

expertly-trained hand and wrist surgeons who are committed to providing patients with the

absolute best care possible. Come in and let us help you get rid of your pain today!