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Some people with severe symptoms may have surgery when other methods do not help.

Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal tunnel release is surgery that cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This makes more room for the median nerve and tendons to pass through it. It also eases symptoms.

Endoscopic Release of Carpal Tunnel

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It may be done in one of 2 ways:

  • Open surgery cuts through the skin to expose the ligament, then cuts across the ligament with scissors
  • Endoscopic surgery uses a smaller incisions and tools to cut the ligament

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Clinical Practice Guideline on the Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. AAOS 2016 Feb.

Carpal tunnel syndrome. American Society for Surgery of the Hand website. Available at: Published 2015. Accessed November 20, 2019.

Carpal tunnel syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated June 24, 2019. Accessed November 20, 2019.

Carpal tunnel syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: Updated August 13, 2019. Accessed November 20, 2019.

Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD  Last Updated: 11/6/2020