Management of complications related to carpal tunnel release

Seth D. Dodds, Thomas E. Trumble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Complications from carpal tunnel release surgery are diverse in nature, ranging from postoperative wound infections to median nerve laceration. Although significant injury to an underlying neurovascular structure rarely occurs during carpal tunnel surgery, when it does happen, the outcome can be emotionally and physically devastating to patients. More commonly, patients suffer from recurrent symptoms because of incomplete release of the transverse carpal ligament or secondary traction neuritis from excessive scarring. Early and accurate diagnosis of a complication or recurrence from carpal tunnel release facilitates the development of a successful treatment plan for improved patient outcome. The common elements in operative management of complications from carpal tunnel surgery include complete external neurolysis, nerve repair or grafting, and autologous soft tissue coverage to prevent the formation of postoperative adhesions. Treating physicians should be aware that complications after carpal tunnel surgery can have a profound impact not only on a patient's hand function, but also on a patient's psyche.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalTechniques in Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Carpal tunnel complications
  • Median nerve injury
  • Nerve repair
  • Opponens transfer
  • Soft tissue coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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