Carpal Tunnel Surgery: What to Expect During the Procedure

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Are you ready for carpal tunnel surgery? If you’ve already made your decision, or are still thinking about it, here is a little info on what to expect.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Prep

Your hand, wrist, and arm will be sterilized before the numbing injection. Your doctor will have one or more assistants. A paper wall will be placed between your body and your arm, so you won’t see what is happening. The surgery take place in a procedure room, and not an operation room.

Carpal tunnel surgery room

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Procedure

Once your hand, wrist, and arm have been sterilized, you will get a numbing injection and a tourniquet placed on your arm. I’m not going to lie. Both hurt. A lot! It’s important not to move. It won’t last long, but it will be painful. Since I had surgery on both hands by two different surgeons, there were a few differences between the two procedures. The injection is very painful, but that is quick. The tourniquet remains throughout the procedure to prevent bleeding. My arm was numb and the discomfort turned to pain towards the end.

One doctor used a cold numbing spray before the injection. I believe that helped; a little. One doctor talked a lot, describing what he was doing, what was coming next, and about how far along we were. The other did not. So, I asked. During the second surgery, I did feel pain after the incision, during the procedure. It hurt a lot, but I didn’t move. I let the doctor know and was quickly given another shot. That helped.

I felt a lot of tugging and discomfort while the the transverse carpal ligament was being cut. Before closing the incision, the nerve is tested. I felt a sort of sharp-shooting pain during both surgeries, but one was more intense than the other. Once the release and testing is complete, the surgeon will close the incision.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Closure (next page)