Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common problem. It happens when a nerve about the size of a pencil (the median nerve) gets compressed at the wrist, causing symptoms of numbness and tingling in the fingers. This can progress to weakness of the thumb muscles.
Initial treatment may involve night splints and activity modifications, or cortisone injections. Many patients eventually need surgery.
Surgery is done under local anesthetic with you awake. It takes 15 to 20 minutes, with an incision in the palm.
Stiches are placed in the skin, and you can expect to go home with a bandage.
Light activity is required with the hand for 2-3 weeks, until the incision has healed.