Carpal Tunnel Surgery Types, Outcomes & Alternative Options

Before going for CTS surgery, learn about carpal tunnel surgery types, prognosis & outcomes. We have also shared in this article alternative to surgery. CSC’s alternative therapy to CTS surgery is much better & longer lasting. Contact one of our centers today for more information.

All You Need To Know About Carpal Tunnel Surgery

showing median nerve pain distribution with carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel surgery is a standard procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons. It is essential to point out that conservative treatments are just as effective as carpal tunnel surgery. Non-Surgical carpal tunnel treatment is said to be more effective when compared to surgical intervention for carpal tunnel patients. Published researchers in reputable journals recommend manual therapy, physiotherapy & chiropractic treatments for patients with carpal tunnel. Invasive procedures like carpal tunnel surgery can have risks and complications.

To avoid such complications, opt for our targeted method of conservative treatments. In this section of our website, we will provide you with information about carpal tunnel surgery to make an informed decision. The majority of carpal tunnel patients in Malaysia seek consultation with a hand surgeon. Hand surgeons are surgical specialists who are well aware of invasive options.

Some may not be as familiar with conservative or non-surgical treatment options. So, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, which the surgeon has recommended surgery, visit us and learn about your non-surgical options. The vast majority of carpal tunnel patients treated in our center improve significantly within one month. Please bear with us as we briefly review carpal tunnel syndrome before going over carpal tunnel surgery.

Wrist Pain & Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

A Carpal tunnel is a narrow space or passageway in the front of the wrist; the wrist’s bones and ligaments give rise to the carpal tunnel (passageway). The wrist bones make up the carpal tunnel floor, whereas a thick connective tissue known as the flexor retinaculum establishes the roof, creating a tunnel. Structures found in the carpal tunnel include tendons, blood vessels, and the median nerve. The median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel gives sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the fourth finger. It also supplies the muscles of the thumb.

Repetitive movements of the wrist or sudden injury can irritate the tissues and the median nerve leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning sensation, and pain. Symptoms emerge when the median nerve is irritated or compressed. Depending on the severity of compression (irritation), you may also experience weakness in the wrist, hand, and fingers. The combined or standalone symptoms mentioned are commonly known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

There is a variety of tests for the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Accurate diagnosis is critical for successful clinical outcomes. Chiropractic Specialty Center® offers the best carpal tunnel syndrome treatment in Malaysia. Contact our center today for a non-surgical option.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Surgery Or Therapy?

Illustration of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

When all the non-invasive conservative treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms, surgery can become an option. The type of surgical intervention depends on your surgeon and, of course, the severity of your given condition. An open carpal tunnel release is the surgical procedure performed by cutting the skin at the base of the palm to expose the transverse carpal ligament. The surgeon cuts portions of the transverse carpal ligament to reduce the pressure on the median nerve. Then, the surgeon closes the incision stitches.

Scar tissues will cover the gap in the cut ligament as it starts to heal.

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery also targets the transverse carpal ligament. However, only one or two small incisions are being made to insert the thin tube. The endoscopic camera and the cutting tools may be attached to one single tube or two separate thin tubes. The endoscopic surgical methods have better results compared to open carpal tunnel surgery.

The endoscopic approach involves less cutting and, as such, a lesser degree of scar tissue. However, you must understand that even the most minimal surgical interventions yield scar tissues, which often cause flare-ups later.

Open Wrist Surgery Versus The Endoscopic SurgeryEndoscopic carpal tunnel release illustration

The recovery time needed for endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is typically shorter than open surgery. The symptoms in the fingers and hand may disappear gradually over a period. A note of caution: Carpal Tunnel Surgery is better suited for those with significant muscle weakness noted or when the conservative management failed to provide any relief. However, the open or the endoscopic surgical methods or surgical interventions do not constitute a cure. These are a measure taken to relieve pressure. Often most that have had carpal tunnel surgery will experience a re-flare-up of their condition.

Are There Any Complications To The Wrist Surgery?

With any invasive procedure, there are risks. Similarly, carpal tunnel surgery has some risks and even complications involved. Even with the successful operation, there is still a possibility that the pre-surgery symptoms may recur. Scar tissue formation after surgery is one of the factors that contribute to median nerve irritation. The median nerve’s abnormalities during the nerve conduction test measured by EMG may not return to normal even after the surgery. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy may develop after the surgery, causing further injury to the median nerve.

What To Expect After Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

Surgery for carpal tunnel is to minimize the nerve pain you feel in your hand and wrist. Surgery of any kind will have pain, swelling, and other symptoms after surgery. Patients who opt for a wrist operation will notice some changes following the surgical intervention. Recovery following a carpal tunnel release varies among individuals. We have listed some of the below:

  1. Limitation in movements of the fingers, hand, and wrist
  2. Pain and soreness at the wrist, hand, or fingers
  3. Swelling at the wrist and hand

It is important to note that most of the symptoms mentioned above should subside within weeks or months following carpal tunnel surgery. However, some will continue to have limited motion and loose hand strength following the surgical intervention.

What Are The Side-Effects Or Complication Of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?

Side effects of surgical intervention are also called complications. Surgery has complications, and carpal tunnel release procedures are no different. Complications or side effects occur from the surgical procedure or during the aftercare. We have provided the common ones below:

  1. Damage to the Median nerve, leading to weakness, pain, numbness, and tingling sensation in fingers, hand, wrist, or arm
  2. Pain or discomfort at the surgical site or in the hand or arm
  3. CRPS or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  4. Bowstringing of tendons (your tendons may become more visible following surgery)
  5. Frequent swelling with mild or moderate activity
  6. Loss of grip strength following full recovery from the surgery
  7. Recurrence or worsening of carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms

Recovery Time For Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Recovery time differs among carpal tunnel patients. Some recover in weeks to months following the surgical intervention. Younger patients recover faster than those aged 50 or older. Another factor in recovery is the aftercare therapy you get. If the post-surgery care (aftercare) is focused, recovery will be shorter. However, it would help if you kept in mind that surgical interventions for carpal tunnel pain have a relatively high recurrence rate. The recurrence results from continued activities at work, home, or during sports.

Is There Any Aftercare For Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

The surgeon will wrap your wrist with a bandage or give you a splint. Some will use a sturdy dressing in the initial days or during the first week and then give patients a brace to wear. You will need to wear a splint for 1-3 weeks after your carpal tunnel release. You will be encouraged to exercise your fingers several times during the day to prevent stiffness. Some level of rehabilitation, coupled with focused physiotherapy, is required to help you with recovery.

Which Is Better Wrist Surgery Or Non-Surgical Treatments?

Effective non-surgical treatments are always better. Even the least invasive surgical intervention leads to scar tissues, malfunction, and eventually, pain, months or years later. The one thing that everyone agrees with is that surgery should be the absolute last option. Unfortunately, many doctors and patients alike opt for surgery prematurely for carpal tunnel treatment in Malaysia. Our centers have been at the forefront of the spine and joint care. We have treated thousands of patients in pain successfully.

We have helped many that others could not. Carpal tunnel treatment at our centers is through the integrative methods of care developed by our director, Dr. Yama Zafer. Dr. Yama (as his patients call him) is a Doctor of Chiropractic by training. He has extensive education, training, and certification in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and advanced methods of chiropractic treatment. Dr. Yama has developed a multi-prong method of care that incorporates Shockwave therapy’s best clinical practices (ESWT Therapy), physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and chiropractic.

Our combined collective methods of carpal tunnel treatment have benefited many who were told to have surgery. We encourage you to contact us if you have been asked to have surgery or your carpal tunnel or wrist pain.

Visit Chiropractic Specialty Center® and discover how Dr. Yama’s carpal tunnel treatment methods can help you recover without surgery. Contact our center today for CTS treatment or to find get information on carpal tunnel surgery types, outcomes & alternative options from CSC’s experts today!  

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