What is carpal tunnel syndrome? 

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is a condition which affects the hand. The median nerve is located on the palm side of your hand which is also known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb, the index finger, and parts of the ring finger. The nerve is responsible for the muscle going to the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually accompanied by sensations of pain, tingling, burning or swelling in the palm of the hands and may extend to the first three fingers of the hand and the thumb.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Surgery Incision
  • Incision in open carpal tunnel release surgery is about 2 inches.
  • In endoscopic carpal tunnel release, the doctor makes two incisions of half-inch each
Restrictions after Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • Avoid lifting things heavier than 0.5 to 1 kg and overusing your hand for about 2 weeks.
  • Avoid doing repeated arm or hand movements, and activities like typing or using a computer, or chopping food.
  • Avoid activities that cause vibration in the hand.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery- Endoscopic vs Open Surgery
  • Incision size- Size of open carpal tunnel surgery incision is usually 3 to 4 cm. Endoscopic carpal tunnel incision size is approximately 1 cm, which is much smaller.
  • Blood loss- Due to the smaller incisions, there is minimal blood loss in case of endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery.
  • Recovery Period- Recovery period after endoscopic carpal tunnel release is much smaller as compared to open surgery.
  • Risks and complications- Risk of infection, complications, hand pain and scar tenderness is higher following an open surgery as compared to endoscopic surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Management
  • Wearing a wrist splint to put it in a neutral position
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Local steroid injections
  • Anti inflammatory medications
  • Surgery


How is Carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?

A doctor can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by doing a physical examination and tests called nerve conduction studies. The physical examination may include a thorough evaluation of your hand, shoulder, wrist, neck or any other parts that can cause pressure in the nerve. The doctor may also check if there is any tenderness or swelling in the wrist. The doctor may further check the sensation of the fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand.

Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

A doctor can diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by doing a physical examination and tests called nerve conduction studies. The physical examination may include a thorough evaluation of your hand, shoulder, wrist, neck or any other parts that can cause pressure in the nerve. The doctor may also check if there is any tenderness or swelling in the wrist. The doctor may further check the sensation of the fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand.

To relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor conducts a surgery called Carpal Tunnel Release surgery. During a carpal tunnel release or surgery, the surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This makes more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel, and usually improves pain and function.

In Our Doctor's Word

Dr. Ashish Taneja

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics

17 Years Experience

"The prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is 2.7% to 5.8% in general population. In Inida alone, there are several people suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and most of them kleep delaying their treatment because of some misconceptions. But the truth is, most of the cases can be treated with the help of medications, surgery and physiotherapy. But, since patients do not approach us on time, the delay severs the condition and makes difficulty to treat. See, the symptoms usually begin through an abnormal pain or swelling around your wrist. If you are experiencing any, do not wait for it to get worse/ self diagnose. See a specialist as soon as possible., because they are the one who can really treat or cure your condition."

Frequently Asked Questions

Can carpal tunnel go away without surgery?

If diagnosed early, when the symptoms are not too severe, and the condition is beginning, carpal tunnel syndrome can be managed with medicines and carpal tunnel exercises. It takes over six months to manage carpal tunnel syndrome pain without surgery. However, surgery is definitely required for patients with severe pain and symptoms.

Does massage help carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms?

Massage therapy is among the most effective and affordable treatments for early-stage carpal tunnel syndrome. During the massage, the therapist performs deep tissue therapy to release adhesions, trigger points and tension in the affected region. For carpal tunnel, massage is performed on the neck, shoulder and arm.

Do you massage the wrist with heat or ice?

Most carpal tunnel experts agree that heat massage works better to relieve carpal tunnel pain than ice. While ice can provide momentary relief, heat ultimately promotes healing by increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation in the area.

Why are carpal tunnel symptoms worse at night?

At night we are still, and so is the tissue fluid in the arms as the muscle pump is inactive at this time. Due to this, the amount of tissue fluid in the carpal tunnel increases as well and leads to increased pressure in the carpal tunnel area. Hence, the pain gets worse at night.

Is carpal tunnel syndrome related to arthritis?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is not a kind of arthritis. However, it can occur as a result of arthritis. This is because arthritis causes swelling in the wrist and tendons of the carpal tunnel and bony spurs in the wrist bones around the carpal tunnel.

Can carpal tunnel syndrome be caused due to typing?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused due to repetitive motion of the wrist and arms. Typing increases the risk of a repetitive strain injury, which can compress the median vein and nerve and lead to CTS.

Are there any diseases that can be misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome?

CTS is often misdiagnosed as it exhibits symptoms similar to other conditions like arthritis, wrist tendonitis, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and thoracic outlet syndrome, such as tingling, pain numbness, hot-or-cold sensations, and difficulty in gripping stuff.

What are the warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome?

If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Consult the best orthopedic surgeons in Kolkata if you are experiencing any of the following warning signs of CTS:

  • Swelling in the fingers
  • Muscles at the base of the thumb become smaller
  • Pain and weakness radiating from the wrist to the arm
  • Pain and tingling getting worse at night
Is carpal tunnel surgery painful?

Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is performed under local anesthesia. It is a minor surgery that is entirely painless. Open surgery causes more pain compared to endoscopic surgery.

What is the cost of carpal tunnel surgery in Kolkata?

The average cost of carpal tunnel release surgery in Kolkata is around INR 35,000-INR 55,000. This is the average cost of the package and can easily vary depending on a lot of other factors such as the severity of the condition, technology used, hospitalization fees, etc.

How long does carpal tunnel surgery take?

Carpal tunnel surgery does not take over 15-20 minutes per hand. The patient spends around 45-60 minutes in the operation theater for the entire procedure before being moved to recovery.

What does the recovery for carpal tunnel release surgery depend on?

The recovery for carpal tunnel release surgery depends on how long the patient had the condition and what kind of procedure they had. If the nerve had been compressed for a long time and the patient had open surgery, then it would take much longer to heal. It also depends on your dominant hand and what kind of work they do.

How soon can I go back to work after carpal tunnel surgery?
  • If the surgery is on the dominant hand and the patient has to perform repetitive motions such as typing and assembly-line work, then they can go back to work in 6-8 weeks
  • however, if it is on their non-dominant hand and they don’t need to perform repeated motions, they can go back to work in 7-10 days.
Why is carpal tunnel syndrome more common in pregnant women?

Pregnant women often have more hormonal changes that affect fluid retention in their bodies which can lead to compression of the median nerve. If you think you might have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, you should consult your doctor and seek treatment immediately.

What are the major risk factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome?

Risk factors associated with carpal tunnel syndrome are:-

  • People with small carpal tunnels hereditarily are more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Women are three times more likely to get carpal tunnel syndrome, especially during pregnancy due to constant hormonal fluctuations.
  • Patients between the ages of 40 and 70.
  • Wrist injury including sprained and fractured wrists.
  • Frequent exposure of hands to extreme temperatures.
  • Medical conditions such as overactive pituitary gland, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, etc.
  • Delayed complication of improperly managed Colles’ fracture.
  • Repetitive movements of hands or wrists.

Physiotherapy for carpal tunnel surgery

After carpal tunnel release surgery, if the patient does not follow proper rehabilitation and physiotherapy, then the recovery will take much longer. Physiotherapy helps avoid the build-up of scar tissue in the operated region and opens up the tunnel in the wrist to allow proper wrist function. It also helps regain a complete range of motion for the wrist. In addition to physiotherapy, patients should also wear assistive devices such as thumb splints to encourage recovery.

Common carpal tunnel syndrome exercises to follow after carpal tunnel surgery are:

  • Fingertip touching: Hold up your hand, with palm side up and touch your thumb with each fingertip in both directions to complete a full cycle. Perform this exercise 3 to 5 times.
  • Wrist flexion and stretch: Extend your arm with the wrist flexed at a 900 angle. Pull the wrist back by the other hand. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds 5-6 times for each hand.
  • Tendon gliding: Hold your hand straight up and bend your fingers at a 900 angle towards the first knuckle while keeping the fingers together. Then, bend them towards the second knuckle, then form a fist. Then open the hand and repeat the action 5-10 times.

Why undergo carpal tunnel syndrome treatment at Pristyn Care?

Pristyn Care is among the best surgery providers in Kolkata in association with the best orthopedic hospitals in Kolkata. Our patients are very important to us, and to ensure their maximum care and comfort, we provide several facilities, including:

  • Pristyn Care has the best orthopedic surgeons in Kolkata on its panel who are experts in providing successful carpal tunnel treatment to patients without any complications.
  • We provide affordable endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery at the best orthopedic clinics in Kolkata without compromising the quality of the treatment.
  • We follow rigid COVID safety standards at all our treatment centers to ensure that our patients and their attendants are safe from coronavirus.
  • We provide complete insurance support and help the patients with filing insurance claims.
  • We provide cab and meal facilities to all patients on the day of the surgery.

How to book an appointment for carpal tunnel release surgery in Kolkata through Pristyn Care?

You can book an appointment with the best orthopedic surgeons near you at Pristyn Care by:

  • Download our patient care app and look through our doctor database, and book your appointment based on your symptoms.
  • Call the number on the top of our page and talk to our care coordinator to book an appointment at your convenience.
  • Fill in the ‘Book an Appointment’ form and our care coordinators will promptly reach out to you to book your appointment.
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