Pros and Cons of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

You may need to undergo carpal Tunnel Surgery if you have had a wrist injury recently or suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The surgery involves releasing the pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. This relieves pain and tingling sensations in your hands and fingers. Since the procedure is of two types, open and endoscopic, you need to be fully aware of the pros and cons of Carpal Tunnel Surgery before choosing the right one for you.

About the Carpal Tunnel and CPS

The carpal tunnel is a small space in your wrist through which the median nerve and tendons pass. This nerve controls movement and feeling in your thumb and first three fingers. When the median nerve is compressed, it can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in these fingers.

Carpal tunnel surgery involves cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel to give the median nerve more room. This procedure is called decompression surgery. The surgeon may also need to remove part of the bone pressing on the nerve in some cases. This is called a release surgery.

Most people who have carpal tunnel surgery have decompression surgery. The release surgery is usually only done if the person has had previous carpal tunnel surgery that did not relieve their symptoms.

What are the Pros of Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 8 million people are affected by the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome every year. Most of them opt for asurgical procedure. The following are the pros of Carpal Tunnel Surgery, which millions of people opt for.

1. Higher Success rate

According to Cleveland Clinic, the success rate of both surgical procedures is90%, which is a positive indication for patients. In most cases, people who undergo surgery experience a significant improvement in their condition. The surgery is also relatively safe and has a low risk of complications.

2. Quick Recovery is one of the main pros of Carpal tunnel Surgery

This surgery is usually quicker and less invasive than other types of surgery. It can be performed on an outpatient basis, so you won't have to stay in the hospital overnight. The procedure is also relatively simple.

3. Immediate Relief

You will likely experience some relief from your symptoms immediately after the surgery. This is because the pressure on the median nerve is released, which takes away the pain and tingling sensations. In some cases, patients may need physical therapy or occupational therapy to regain full use of their hands and fingers.

4. Low risk of complications

Carpal tunnel surgery is a relatively safe procedure with a low risk of complications. The most common complication is damage to the nerves or blood vessels in the area, which can cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the hands and fingers. Other potential complications include infection, bleeding, and blood clots. Even though there are risks, they are minor and recoverable.

5. You can Return Home the same day

It usually takes a day for a patient to stay at the hospital, which is one of the considerable pros of carpal tunnel surgery for people on a busy schedule. Since the procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, you can go home the same day. You won't need to stay in the hospital overnight.

What are the Cons of Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

Though the surgical procedures involved are less invasive, there are some potential discomforts that one might experience. The following are some cons of carpal tunnel surgery you need to beware of.

1. There is no guarantee that the surgery will be successful

Even though the surgery has a high success rate, it is not guaranteed to relieve your symptoms. In some cases, people may still experience pain, numbness, or tingling after the surgery. Surgery may not be successful in relieving the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is more likely to occur if you have had the condition for a long time. Complications and failures have been reported in 3% to 25%, with up to 12% of operations requiring re-exploration.

2. Complications are the main cons of Carpal Tunney Surgery

It's straightforward to see and expose the median nerve and its branches in the open technique. However, when a camera is used in an endoscopic procedure, visibility isn't as good. As a result, there's a 1-2% chance that the median nerve or one of its branches may be nicked by accident. This might lead to some hand or finger function loss. Another disadvantage of carpal tunnel surgery is that symptoms may not go away. However, the chances of this are comparable to those for the open approach. So are the risks of recurring pain, excessive bleeding, and infection.

3. You may need physical therapy

After the surgery, you may need to undergo physical therapy or occupational therapy to regain full use of your hands and fingers.

4. Higher costs

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the average cost of carpal tunnel surgery is between $2,000 and $5,000. This does not include the costs of pre-operative tests, post-operative care, or physical therapy. In some cases, your insurance company may not cover the cost of the surgery.

5. Time off from work

You will need to take some time off from work to recover from the surgery. The amount of time you need will depend on the type of surgery and your job. In most cases, people take about 2 weeks off from work. However, it may take longer to recover if you have a physically demanding job.

Conclusion on the Pros and Cons of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal tunnel surgery is usually very successful in relieving the pain and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. However, some risks and issues are associated with the surgery, especially after the procedure. You should be aware of these before deciding to undergo surgery. There is also a risk of recurrence, and some people may experience permanent numbness after the surgery. You should talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of carpal tunnel surgery before deciding.

Pros and Cons of Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the downside of carpal tunnel surgery?

Median nerve injury is one of the possible risks and complications of carpal tunnel surgery. Median nerve damage causes symptoms ranging from temporary neuropraxia (nerve pain with motor loss) to complex regional pain syndrome (chronic nerve pain affecting part or all of a wrist). Nearby arterial or tendon damage may occur.

Is it worth having carpal tunnel surgery?

Most individuals with carpal tunnel syndrome only consider surgery if other therapies don't provide enough relief. Surgery can help cure symptoms or eliminate them permanently, but it comes with risks. In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve, which runs through the wrist's carpal tunnel, is compressed.

What is the success rate of the carpal tunnel surgery?

Carpal tunnel surgery has an extremely high likelihood of success. Many symptoms are relieved rapidly after treatment, including tingling in the hands and waking up at night. Even numbness might take weeks, although it seldom lasts longer than three months.

Can carpal tunnel get worse after surgery?

Occasionally, these post-operative problems increase hand pain, tingling, and numbness. These sufferers are more severe following surgery than they were before it. This is due to pressure on the nerve after surgery, which may clear with time and anti-inflammatory medications.

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