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Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpel tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist which causes wrist dysfunction.

Patients suffer from a pain in the hand which can radiate throughout the arm, often at night, and which is usually accompanied by numbness and sometimes weakness.

Benefits of the operation

Surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome usually improves all the patient's symptoms quickly and effectively so they are back to normal quickly.


Medical-technical description

The operation performed to treat this condition is known as carpal tunnel release surgery. This surgery is performed under locoregional anaesthetic and is therefore an outpatient procedure. Patients can go home just a few hours after their operations.

There are basically two ways of doing this surgery:

  • Traditional surgery: through a small incision on the front of the wrist. The annular carpal ligament causing the compression is sectioned. This releases the median nerve and restores normal function.
  • By arthroscopy: the annual carpal ligament is sectioned, but this time through an incision in the skin measuring less than one centimetre. A camera is used to visualise the area. This gives the same results as conventional surgery but the cosmetic result is superior.

About the operation

Surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome takes place in the operating theatre under local or locoregional anaesthetic. The anaesthetist applies locoregional anaesthesia under the arm, in the elbow or applies local anaesthetic to the wrist itself.

The procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes. This is generally an out-patient procedure and patients are able to go home a few minutes after finishing the procedure. On release, you will be given a release report setting out the recommendations, treatment to follow and subsequent appointments.

Before the operation

  • The patient goes to the doctor's office for a prior consultation, decisions are taken and the doctor explains the surgery in detail and gives the patient an informed consent.
  • You must take a list of all the medications you use (including medicinal plants) to the hospital with you on the day of your surgery.
  • You will have pre-surgical tests consisting of a full blood test, biochemistry, coagulation, chest x-ray and ECG.
  • You must wash the surgical site with antiseptic soap on the night before and on the morning of the surgery.
  • You must not eat or drink for 8 hours before your operation.
  • You must remove all metal objects during the operation (rings, bracelets, earrings, body piercings, etc.).

Post-operative care

  • For the first days after the surgery you may suffer some discomfort or swelling, which will disappear when you take the medicine prescribed by the surgeon.
  • You must keep the limb up for one or two weeks and continuously do exercises by opening and clenching your fingers.
  • Correct rehabilitation is necessary, so on the first few days you must not travel or do any strenuous or violent movements.
  • You must keep the incisions dry until the stitches are removed between five and ten days after the surgery.
  • You should not lift weights with the hand in question for the first month.
  • After release, you should contact us if you suffer from chest pain or have breathing difficulties, swelling or reddening in a hand, sharp pain in the arm on which you have had the surgery, fever or shivering.

The importance of immediate rehabilitation

  • Correct rehabilitation is essential after an operation of this type. Rehabilitation should start as soon as possible and on the first few days you must not travel or do any strenuous or violent movements. That is why we recommend that before you go back to your country you should spend at least eight days doing rehabilitation at our Casaverde rehabilitation centre.
  • This will help you to improve muscle tone and for the muscles affected by the surgery to gradually become stronger, which will reduce the risk of falling or complications.
  • This will optimise mobility of the joint affected and reduce any pain and/or discomfort that may appear after the surgery.
  • Improves trophism – nourishes the tissues around the operation site and encourages correct healing and closure of the surgical wound.
  • Restores motor skills, giving patients help, guidance and re-educating them adopt walking patterns that will soon have them on the road to recovery.

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