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Treating Carpal Tunnel

Recognizing & Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While many people believe carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by spending long hours working on a computer keyboard, it actually has numerous causes. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. It is about as big around as your thumb, and it is bound by bones and ligaments. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand, the median nerve, and nine tendons that bend your fingers. The median nerve is a mixed nerve, meaning it has a sensory function and also provides nerve signals to move your muscles. Extended pressure placed on the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome.

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include the following:

  • Tingling or numbness in your fingers or hand
  • Pain radiating from your wrist up to your shoulder or down into your palm/fingers
  • Sense of weakness in your hand and a tendency to drop objects

When the pain or numbness persists more than six months, nerve and muscle damage can occur. If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and nonsurgical methods have not relieved your symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Carpal Tunnel Release

Traditional carpal tunnel release, called open release surgery, is one of the most common procedures used for resolving this condition. It consists of making an incision up to two inches long in the wrist and then cutting the carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel, thereby reducing pressure on the median nerve. The procedure is generally done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, unless there are unusual medical considerations.

Help from Our Orange County Orthopedic Surgeons

At Hoag Orthopedic Institute, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional care to our patients. Our surgeons are known to be experts in mini-open surgery for carpal tunnel release and other similar wrist and hand surgeries. With their skill in mini-open surgery, they can help you experience faster recovery and less postoperative discomfort. There is also minimal scarring and scar tenderness.We also perform most of our carpal tunnel surgeries at our out-patient locations, making the process much more convenient for you.

As you might expect, the operating rooms at Hoag Orthopedic Institute are state-of-the-art, and the outpatient nurse to patient ratio is outstanding. Hoag Orthopedic Institute is also recognized for its dedicated orthopedic physical therapy team. Our physical therapists will play a vital role in your recovery as you work to restore your circulation, joint flexibility, and muscle strength. Recurrence of the syndrome following treatment is rare and most patients enjoy a complete recovery with dedicated physical therapy.


Take the first step and setup an appointment today. Find an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in Hand & Wrist treatments.