How is carpal tunnel decompression performed?

Written by: Mr Alexander Magnussen
Published: | Updated: 17/05/2024
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article below, renowned consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Alexander Magnussen, provides us with the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding carpal tunnel decompression surgery.

What is carpal tunnel decompression?

Carpal tunnel decompression is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a common condition characterised by pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. This procedure is typically recommended for individuals whose symptoms have not improved with conservative treatments such as splinting, medication, or physical therapy.


How is carpal tunnel decompression performed?

During carpal tunnel decompression surgery, I make a small incision at the base of the palm of the hand and carefully cut the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. By releasing this ligament, the pressure on the median nerve is alleviated, allowing it to function more effectively and reducing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.


Carpal tunnel decompression surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia, meaning that patients can return home the same day as the procedure. The surgery is minimally invasive, with small incisions and minimal disruption to surrounding tissues, resulting in less postoperative pain and faster recovery times compared to traditional open surgery.


What is the recovery process like after carpal tunnel decompression surgery?

After carpal tunnel decompression surgery, patients may experience some temporary discomfort or soreness at the incision site, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few days to a week after surgery, although heavy lifting and strenuous activities may need to be avoided for a longer period of time.


What is the success rate of this surgery?

The success rate of carpal tunnel decompression surgery is high, with the majority of patients experiencing significant improvement in their symptoms following the procedure. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks and potential complications, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or recurrence of symptoms.


If you’d like to make an appointment with Mr Alexander Magnussen, just visit his Top Doctors profile today to do just that. 

By Mr Alexander Magnussen
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Alexander Magnussen is a highly accomplished consultant upper limb and hand surgeon who stands as an eminent figure in the field of orthopaedic surgery, celebrated for his profound expertise, compassionate patient care, and contributions to advancements in orthopaedic medicine. His main areas of expertise include frozen shoulder, shoulder replacement surgery, elbow pain, sports injuries, Dupuytren's contracturecarpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff surgery, and hand injuries

Mr Magnussen has garnered a notable amount of recognition and respect for his commitment to excellence and innovation in orthopaedic surgery. Throughout his illustrious career, Mr Magnussen has, to date, demonstrated an unwavering dedication to enhancing patient outcomes and quality of life. As a leading orthopaedic surgeon, he specialises in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of a wide range of orthopaedic conditions, with particular expertise in joint replacement surgery, sports medicine, and arthroscopic procedures.

Mr Magnussen's clinical practice is characterised by his meticulous attention to detail, personalised approach to patient care, and commitment to achieving optimal surgical outcomes. He has obtained a MBBS, BSc, and a FRCS (Tr&Orth), and has impressively published extensively within various esteemed publications. 

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