Carpal Tunnel Surgery with Dr. Harman

The hand is made up of many intricate tendons and nerves that, when healthy, help us complete nearly every task throughout our day. Carpal Tunnel is a condition of the wrist and hand that can prevent everyday activities by creating painful tingling or numbing sensations that radiate through the wrist and hand. Carpal tunnel refers to the actual narrow passageway in the wrist that, when compressed, puts pressure on the median nerve. The immediate result being pain that can get worse over time.

"Most people with carpal tunnel syndrome complain of waking up at night with numbness in their hands. Others have numbness in their thumb, index, and middle fingers, or in their hands while driving; numbness with pain radiating up the arm; or weakness with pinching activities, such as buttoning buttons or fastening earrings," said Dr. Tim Harman.

And it can start at a younger age and progress faster in people who do keyboarding or jobs requiring repetitive manual labor such as manufacturing, assembly, construction or auto repair, he said.

The surgical options for Carpal Tunnel consist of two main types: Open and endoscopic. For both procedures your Surgeon will make an incision in your wrist and cut the ligaments that are putting pressure on the median nerve, which will give you immediate relief.

Endoscopic carpal tunnel is a minimally invasive procedure compared to open carpal tunnel surgery. The procedure requires a small incision on the palm side of the wrist and just two sutures. Most patients who have endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery can resume normal activities and return to work as soon as they are comfortable after the five-minute procedure, said Dr. Harman. Afterward, the patient has less pain, compared to open carpal tunnel surgery, doesn’t need physical therapy or splints, and has no restrictions.

While most everyone is a good candidate for endoscopic surgery, not every orthopedic hand surgeon is trained to do it, said Dr. Harman, who’s even performed the procedure on other hand surgeons. Early intervention is preferred to keep symptoms from getting worse and preserve overall nerve health.

As always, if you think you have carpal tunnel, talk with your provider, and make an appointment with an Orthopedic Hand Surgeon to learn more about what options are right for you.