What is Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpel tunnel syndrome is a condition that results in tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and forearm. This condition is caused when pressure is put on the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. There is a combination of factors that may lead to the development of this condition. Risk factors include heredity, repetitive hand use, hand and wrist position, pregnancy, certain health conditions, and age.

Symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome usually begin over time and include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the hand or fingers.
  • Pain or discomfort.
  • Weakness in the hand.

If carpel tunnel is left untreated, it can lead to permanent dysfunction of the hand, including weakness and/or loss of sensation in the fingers.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Surgery Recovery

During the healing process, the ligament tissues will slowly grow back together while allowing room for the nerve. This process usually takes several months. Your surgeon will encourage you to use your hand after the ligament has healed and work up to normal use of the hand over time.  Some weakness and soreness are to be expected for several weeks to a few months.

Treatment Options

There are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options when it comes to carpel tunnel syndrome.

Early Treatment Options

Carpel tunnel syndrome should be treated as early as possible after symptoms become noticeable. In the early stages, there are some steps that may be helpful in reducing discomfort, including:

  • Wearing a wrist splint while sleeping
  • Avoiding certain activities that worsen symptoms
  • Exercises to keep the nerve mobile
  • A steroid injection into the carpal tunnel


If symptoms are severe or do not respond well to non-surgical treatments, surgery may be an option. Carpel tunnel surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. There are two forms of hand surgery that can be used to improve carpel tunnel syndrome symptoms, including endoscopic carpel tunnel release and open carpel tunnel release.

During endoscopic surgery, a device with a small camera attached (endoscope) s used to see inside the carpel tunnel. The ligament will be cut through small incisions in the hand or wrist. During open surgery, an incision is created in the palm of the hand over the carpal tunnel, and the ligament is cut. There are both pros and cons to both options, which can be discussed with your surgeon during a consultation.

My right carpal tunnel surgery went very well and less than 1 week out I barely have a scar!
Thank you Dr. Christiansen, staff and Hand Therapy specialists!


Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about carpel tunnel surgery, please contact Neaman Hand Surgery today. Dr. Neaman, Dr. Tsai, and Dr. Christiansen have helped patients from Portland, Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and other surrounding areas by performing endoscopic carpal release surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can carpal tunnel heal on its own?

By resting and allowing inflammation to subside, carpal tunnel syndrome can heal on its own. However, it may be difficult to avoid the activities or motions causing injury, meaning in most cases, professional treatment is needed.

How do you fix carpal tunnel?

Carpal tunnel treatment is typically a multifaceted approach. It focuses on reducing movement and allowing the inflammation to heal while also preventing damage in the future. It’s always recommended to see a knowledgeable hand surgeon to explore your options.

What happens if carpal tunnel goes untreated?

Carpal tunnel will worsen over time if not treated. It can lead to permanent nerve damage, dramatically impacting your mobility. Make sure to see a hand surgeon as soon as possible if you notice pain, tingling, or numbness in your hand or wrist.

What are symptoms of carpal tunnel?

Symptoms typically include pain or weakness in the hand and fingers. It may produce a feeling like pins and needles, burning, or tingling. It may become worse at night after you’ve used your hand throughout the day.

Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 971-701-6847.

Contact Us