n Carpal Tunnel Release - AOA Orthopedic Specialists


Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery


Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common ailment causing hand numbness in middle aged working adults from repetitive motions.  Synovium is a lubricating tissue surrounding tendons that easing their movement through the body.  The synovium of the flexor tendons of the wrist can become irritated and swell putting pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist into the hand.  The pressure on the median nerve interrupts the signaling impulses traveling through the nerve and can cause hand numbness, tingling, and pain.  Pain and numbness from compression of the median nerve in the wrist will be expressed in your thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and part of your ring finger.


The wrist pain you feel is due to the pressure from the synovium onto the median nerve. The cause of this tissue inflammation can vary but it is an underlying cause of swelling in the wrist which can also obstruct blood flow.

The most common conditions linked to carpal tunnel are:

  • diabetes
  • thyroid dysfunction
  • high blood pressure
  • autoimmune disorder i.e rheumatoid arthritis
  • fluid retention
  • fractures or trauma to the wrist


Symptoms are variable depending on the amount of nerve compression.  Typically carpal tunnel will generally be expressed with weakness in the hand, pain and burning sensations that may travel up the arm, and numbness or tingling in the thumb, pointer, middle, and ring fingers.

Carpal tunnel diagnoses and treatment

Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel

Diagnosing carpal tunnel is typically done by an orthopedic physician, preferably an orthopedic hand surgeon. They will perform a physical examination, discuss patient history, and possibly perform a nerve conduction study or diagnostic test. This works by measuring nerve impulse. If the nerve impulse is slower than normal, it can be an indicator of carpal tunnel syndrome.


During open carpal tunnel release surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut, which releases pressure on the median nerve and relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. An incision is made at the base of the palm of the hand. This allows the doctor to see the transverse carpal ligament. After the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches. Once the skin is closed, the ligament begins to heal and grow across the division. The new growth heals the ligament, and allows more space for the nerve and flexor tendons.

If you have open carpal tunnel release surgery, you usually do not need to stay in the hospital. It is usually done under local anesthetic and you can go home on the same day.

Find a North Texas Orthopedic Specialist for your Open Carpal Tunnel release today! 817-375-5200


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