In most cases carpal tunnel release (CTR) is performed as day case surgery under a local anaesthetic.
This means you will be awake throughout the procedure, and able to go home almost as soon as it is
The local anaesthetic with a small dose of adrenaline is normally given a few minutes before the
operation but may be earlier as its effects will last several hours. This will numb the area and prevents
the need for a torniquet during the operation.
In theatre your hand will be cleaned with an anti-septic solution. After that sterile sheets cover your
arm and keep the hand clean.
You will be given some pain killers and a spare sticky dressing to take home. After 5 days take down
the bulky dressing and change the sticky dressing if necessary. After a further 5 days take off the
sticky dressing. At this stage you can get the wound wet and the remaining stitches should drop out in a
A cut is made on the hand as shown in the diagram. The surgeon will then proceed to release the
fibrous roof of the carpal tunnel. The wound will be closed with dissolvable stitches, a sticky dressing
and then a bulky bandage.