Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the function of the hand and is caused by pressure on the nerves in the wrist. The Carpal tunnel is a section of the hand that key nerves run through, including the median nerve, the most important nerve for hand movement and sensation. Any significant damage to, compression of, or pressure on this nerve causes impairment to the hand and its mobility.

If untreated over time, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause permanent impairment or weakness of the hand. Diagnosis and treatment are important steps in combating carpal tunnel syndrome, however, to prevent further damage, surgery can be recommended for some patients.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is known to cause hand and lower-arm numbness, tingling, pain, and lack of strength in grip.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a combination of different factors, such as hereditary anatomical factors, pregnancy and health conditions, such as arthritis and thyroid gland imbalance. Repetitive hand movements and extreme flexion of the arm can also cause this syndrome as they add pressure to the tendons.

Your Consultation

During the consultation, Dr. Laniewski will discuss your medical history and then review your symptoms to gain an appropriate understanding of the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome. He will explain your plans for the surgery in full and make sure you have an understanding of the different treatments and procedures available, as well as the expected results and recovery time of this surgery. Dr. Laniewski will also discuss your aftercare plan for the surgery, and will explain how to care for your wounds post-surgery.

The Carpal Tunnel Procedures

If symptoms persist and get worse, the procedure recommended for this condition is carpal tunnel surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery aims to release the pressure in the median nerve by creating an incision into the carpal ligament that holds the median nerve in place. The ligament will then heal after the surgery, allowing the median nerve to pass through with no pressure and more space within the carpal tunnel. The procedures can be performed under general anaesthesia or by using an arm nerve block.

There are two different techniques for the surgery: Endoscopic surgery and open surgery.

Endoscopic surgery is when an endoscope (a small telescopic camera) or ultrasound is used to see inside the carpal tunnel. An incision will be made in the wrist. Open surgery is when the incision is made in the palm and then through the ligament where the carpal tunnel is. This releases the pressure on the nerve. Your incision will be stitched up and properly dressed for you to be released after the surgery.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Recovery

The recovery process from this surgery is typically two weeks for endoscopic surgery and six weeks for open surgery and may take longer if performed on your dominant hand. After the surgery, you will be advised to rest and recover, while maintaining the cleanliness of the surgery wounds. Post-surgery, you may continue with light duties at work for a minimum of one month, depending on what your occupation involves. You must avoid heavy lifting and computer-based work that will add pressure to the wrist and palm. These details will be explained to you by Dr. Laniewski during your consultation, who will also give you several hand exercises to slowly strengthen your wrist post-surgery. Dr. Laniewski will organise a follow-up appointment after the surgery to check on your recovery process post-surgery. The effects of carpal tunnel surgery are permanent and will provide you with a high level of function in your hand. You may require post-operative hand therapy.

Who is Eligible for Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

Anyone who presents symptoms such as hand pain, tingling, and numbness may be eligible for carpal tunnel surgery, especially if these symptoms are affecting your quality of life. Surgery is a major consideration if your symptoms have persisted for six months or more, and if non-surgical treatment hasn’t aided your symptoms. Candidates will still need to be assessed for suitability in terms of general health and to find any possible contraindications to surgery. When you consult Dr. Laniewski, he will assess your symptoms and provide you with advice based on your individual case.


The pricing of the procedure will depend on the type of surgery your case will need. This will be discussed with Dr. Laniewski in your consultation to find the right option for you and your surgery goals.

Are There Risks to Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

There are risks associated with every surgery and carpal tunnel surgery is no different. As with all surgeries, wound infections after the procedure are a possibility. Dr. Laniewski will discuss the symptoms that can indicate an infection, and will advise you to check your wound each day to ensure an infection hasn’t occurred. Visible scar formation is also a possibility with a surgery like this, as scar tissue is bound to occur when an incision is made. Dr. Laniewski can use techniques to aim for as small of a scar as possible for your exact surgery and case.

A complication that could occur is an injury to the nerves or blood vessels, however, that is why care and precision are taken during this surgery. There is a rare chance that the surgery is unsuccessful and the symptoms aren’t relieved. Another risk is that the ligament might not be correctly released when the surgery occurs. Complications may be more likely if you are a smoker, have diabetes, or a combination of both.


What can happen if carpal tunnel syndrome is left for too long without treatment or surgery?

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is left without treatment, the possibly permanent effects are weakness, lack of coordination, permanent nerve damage, and numbness in your hand.

Who is at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome?

Those who are pregnant, have arthritis, experience rapid weight gain, use their hands repetitively in daily routine, and women between the ages of 40 to 60 years of age may be at a higher risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Should I undergo hand therapy after the carpal tunnel surgery?

Whilst hand therapy can be beneficial in the strengthening of your hand and wrist after surgery, Dr. Laniewski will discuss your unique case and if it is necessary. After your surgery, you will be given hand stretches and exercises to increase the strength and mobility of your hand post-operation.