Dr Stuart Myers

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release 

The operation is performed under local anaesthetic as a day only procedure.
You will be given a sedating drug through a drip which will make you feel drowsy & will tend to make you forget
the details of your operation. If you are feeling anxious the anaesthetist can increase the dose of this drug.
Even the most anxious of patients cope very well with the surgery under local anaesthetic.


The Flexor Retinaculum (band of tissue across the front of the wrist) is divided from within the carpal tunnel
by special knives.


Local anaesthetic is used so that if the tube containing the knives passes near the median or ulnar nerves
you will be able to let the surgeon know. You may watch the operation on the television screen if you so
desire but you will not be able to see your hand while it is undergoing surgery. Most people are unable to
remember the details later due to the sedating drugs. One suture is inserted in each of the wounds.


At the end of the operation the movement of the fingers & thumb is checked. It is not uncommon for the
sensation in the fingers to be reduced for a few hours until the local anaesthetic wears off. If this altered
sensation persists for longer than 24hrs please notify Dr Myers.

Activity Return

The recovery period from a carpal tunnel release is very variable. In general it takes about 3 months to
regain near normal function after the surgery. After 10 days you can do whatever pain permits & you are
unrestricted in your activities.


A half plaster slab is applied to the wrist for comfort. This can be removed after 48 hours by undoing the
outer bandage.


After 48 hours the inner bandages can be removed and the 2 wounds cleaned in the shower or with an alcohol swab. Allow
the wounds to dry then apply a Bandaid or a Cutifilm dressing.
The hand can then be wet in the shower each day  but try and avoid prolonged soaking.



In the very unlikely event that a good view of the tissue to be divided cannot be achieved or you experience pain
then the endoscopic procedure is abandoned and an open carpal tunnel release is performed through a
4 - 5 cm incision.
A number of severe complications have been reported in the literature such as injury to nerves, arteries & tendons.
These complications have largely been overcome by performing the procedure under local anaesthetic.
I have not experienced any of these severe complications.

Travelling Home

You will be discharged the same day as the operation. Although you may feel wide awake after the operation the
effect of the drugs may be to make you forgetful for a few hours and make driving hazardous. You should get
a lift home accompanied by a friend or relative. Do NOT drive yourself home.

Follow up

You will be provided with an appointment time for removal of the suture, usually 7-10 days after the operation.
The time and date is on your operation report (a copy will be provided to you for your records)

LAST UPDATED ON 28 / 2/ 15