Carpal tunnel release surgery
Carpal tunnel syndrome means that the nerve in the carpal tunnel in the wrist is compressed. Symptoms include tingling sensations and numbness in the index and middle fingers especially at night, and dropping objects as grip strength decreases. Also, pain may occur in the wrist when it is bent or extended to extreme positions. A nerve release surgery is required to remove the symptoms.
The procedure is performed under regional anaesthesia. A curved incision is made on the palm side of the wrist. The structures that compress the nerve in the carpal tunnel are opened. If the nerve has been impinged for a long period of time, some of the symptoms may remain permanently.
Swelling of the hand slows down healing and causes pain. It can be reduced by keeping the hand in an elevated position, also during the night, using for example a pillow. Moving your fingers and taking painkillers also help. The hand may be used in everyday chores as allowed by the pain. Avoid extreme positions of the wrist and lifting objects weighing over 1 kg until the sutures are removed.
The bandaging is kept for 1–4 days after the operation to prevent swelling and wound discharge. You may shower after the bandages are removed. You may shower the hand, but not soak it in water. The sutures are removed after 2 weeks in the health centre, occupational health centre or health clinic (neuvola). You may go to sauna 24 hours after the removal of the sutures. You may apply and massage moisturizing cream on the wound lightly beginning the third day after the removal of the sutures. This softens the dry skin and makes the scarring more resilient.
Treatment of pain
It is recommended to take painkillers regularly for 2–4 days and after that when necessary.
If you experience inflammatory symptoms (increasing pain, heavy swelling, warmth, redness, continuous wound discharge through the bandages) or anything else abnormal occurs, contact your health centre or treating unit.
- Day Surgery Unit
- Emergency Department
- Your own health centre or occupational health centre