Carpal Tunnel Decompression

The carpal tunnel is a passageway in the wrist carrying flexor tendons and the median nerve to the hand. Pressure may build up within the tunnel because of disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis), injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, overuse, or repetitive motions. Not uncommonly there is obvious cause for this condition. The resulting pressure on the median nerve within the tunnel causes a tingling sensation in the hand, often accompanied by numbness, aching, night time waking up with “pins & needles” sensation in the digits and impaired hand function. This is known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

In some cases, splinting of the hand and anti-inflammatory medications will relieve the problem. If this doesn't work, however, surgery may be required.

In the operation, an incision is made from the middle of the palm to the distal wrist crease. The tissue that is pressing on the nerve is divided in order to release the pressure. A large dressing and sometimes a splint are used after surgery to restrict motion and promote healing. The scar will gradually fade and become barely visible.


The result of the surgery is usually very good. However it does depend on how long the condition had been present and how much damage had been done to the nerve. For that reason, it's a good idea to see a doctor early if you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Estimated costs

Total cost:  $300 if insured,  $2000 if uninsured

Risks and possible problems

• Incomplete release, which may require further surgery
• Injury to the median or ulnar nerve
• Reoccurrence of previous symptoms

If you need more information, please call 03 8769 8555 or email us at and we will get back to you next business day.

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