When is it necessary to get a carpal tunnel release done?

CTS symptoms. Surgery generally is enacted when the pain, tingling or numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome become unbearable and limiting.
When you have pain. And constant numbness, then this is the most important absolute time to get the surgery done soon, we can debate the value of earlier treatment, but this is often the point of no return for full recovery. However if you pass this point it is not a reason to put off surgery.
Several reasons. Talk to your hand/wrist surgeon about carpal tunnel release if 1) numbness & pain impact function 2) pain can't be managed conservatively via bracing & meds 3) to prevent muscle atrophy.
If symptomatic. A carpal tunnel release is a very effective procedure for patients that have failed conservative care. It is elective and can be done when convenient. Obviously, it should only be considered if the symptoms are significant enough to consider surgery. Good luck.
When Present. Carpal tunnel should be treated when the diagnosis is made. Early treatment can include oral medications and splints. However with symptoms that do not improve, surgery should be considered. Failure to treat compression of the nerve may lead to irreversible nerve damage.

Related Questions

What does someone typically get a second carpal tunnel release surgery?

It can come back. It is unusual but carpal tunnel syndrome can come back after surgery.
Recurrent Disease. Second surgery may be needed for recurrent disease or if the first surgery was not successful.
It depends! If you are talking about the same hand for a second time then true recurrences tend to occur 10-20 years after the original surgery and are quite rare. Failure of the first op is commoner and may need revision surgery quite soon. If you are talking about the other hand then CTS is bilateral in at least 70% of patients and operations on the other side are very common.

What is involved with a carpal tunnel release?

Small cut. A small incision is made on the palm side of thewrist and a small knife cuts the tendon that is pressing on the nerve. This is a quick and easy operation.
Release the ligament. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition where there is increased pressure within the carpal tunnel and it compresses the median nerve. The surgical treatment involves cutting the transverse carpal ligament. This decreases the pressure within the tunnel and allows a return of function to the nerve, the surgery can be performed using an open or minimally invasive technique.

What should I expect from carpal tunnel release?

Minimal discomfort. Pain with the procedure itself tends to be minimal, and the nerve in most cases begins to recover that first night. Assuming there is no permanent damage done to the nerve by longstanding carpal tunnel, most of the nerve symptoms resolved over 8-12 weeks.
Good outcomes. Carpal tunnel surgery generally heals quickly, allows early return to activities, and yields good relief from numbness and tingling. The surgery is usually done as an outpatient with local anesthesia. Pain medications are needed for a brief period of time only.
Just slow down. For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. Your hand will be sore and possibly swollen for the first few weeks. Fortunately, most patients have a very good outcome.

Is carpal tunnel release a painful procedure to do?

No. The band across the wrist (flexor retinaculum) is cut to release the median nerve in the tunnel created by the carpal bones and this tissue. It should not be unduly painful.
No. I do them all the time and have no pain. I think you are asking if cts is a painful surgery. Most patients that I treat are so happy to be rid of their cts symtoms the soreness they have from the surgery for a short time is worth it. And finally different people tolerate different levels of discomfort better than others.
No. Most patients report minimal or no pain after carpal tunnel release. Most are tender and sore with pressure at the wrist.
Generally no. Carpal tunnel surgery usually hurts for a day or two afterward, sometimes requiring narcotic medications. Some patients have minimal symptoms and need nothing more than Ibuprofen for pain. Others require heavy narcotics for several days. Your mileage may vary.
Not too bad. For most patients, they are able to gradually resume most normal activities around 6 weeks after surgery. Most do not require occupational therapy on the hand. However, ot can be helpful if the recovery is slow. Your hand will be sore and possibly swollen for the first few weeks. Fortunately, most patients have a very good outcome. Typical post-op pain is not too bad.
No. These procedures are usually very well tolerated, especially if done endoscopically (minimal incision). For example, I use an endoscopic technique and most of my patients do not even take prescription pain medications after surgery, only a few over the counter anti inflammatory pills. Other techniques to minimize post operative pain include ice, elevation and supplements like NeuroGen.
It could hurt. Like any surgery, there could be some pain. That being said, it's done arthroscopically in an ambulatory setting so the pain isn't too bad.