Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Surgery is a procedure performed to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, thus relieving pressure in the area known as the carpal tunnel. As the nerve passes through the carpal tunnel, the median nerve can become compressed, causing pain and numbness in the hand and arm. The following steps demonstrate a basic procedure of Carpal Tunnel Surgery:  

Step 1: After anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will make an incision through the patient’s skin near the base of their palm. 


Step 2: The surgeon will split the transverse carpal ligament, exposing the median nerve and surrounding tissues. 


Step 3: The opening of the carpal tunnel is widened by cutting away any surrounding tissues that may be causing the compression of the median nerve. 


Step 4: Sutures are used to close the incision. 


The muscles and nerves that are most affected during this surgery are the median nerve and the transverse carpal ligament. The median nerve is the one that is compressed and relieved of the pressure, while the transverse carpal ligament is the one that is severed and widened to reduce the pressure.  

The cutting will take place in the incision at the base of the palm, where the transverse carpal ligament is split in order to expose and relieve pressure on the median nerve. 

Depending on the location of the nerve, different muscles may need to be cut in order to take pressure off the nerve. In some cases, a portion of a larger muscle may need to be removed in order to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Other times, a partial muscle may need to be cut to avoid complete disruption of the muscle’s function. In some cases, small nerve branches may need to be cut instead of a larger muscle. Ultimately, the specific muscles or nerve branches that need to be cut in order to take pressure off the nerve can vary, depending on the individual case. 

Please do not attempt this surgery on yourself or others. To be performed by a trained physician.  

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