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Carpal Tunnel Decompression

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common hand operation performed in the UK. It is a relatively straight forward procedure with good outcomes if managed appropriately. The operation involves a small 3-4cm incision at the base of the palm of the hand, in line with the third web space.

Pre-operatively patients complain of a combination of pain (either at night or intermittent through the day), altered sensation and tingling. Immediately after the operation once the local anaesthetic has stopped working their symptoms are different. Most patients find that the severe pain that wakes them up has gone and replaced by a more localised pain over the wound which disappears over a few days. The numbness and tingling may persist for some time.

Therapy is aimed at managing the acute problems that occur, such as oedema (swelling), stiffness in the hand and wrist, pain and scar sensitivity.

Post Operative Regime:

Reduce dressing after a couple of days (dressing is usually provided within the initial dressing).

Hand Therapy is not routinely indicated but if complications occur such as those mentioned above then referral is crucial.

Specific therapy:

  • Flexor tendon gliding exercises
  • Desensitisation programme
  • Strengthening programme



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