While there are two options for carpal tunnel release surgery, open and endoscopic, with both procedures, most patients go home the day of the surgery, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Healing for the endoscopic procedure is usually quicker, while the open surgery may require a splint.
The full benefits of carpal tunnel release surgery may take up to a year to occur, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Most patients experience the relief of the nighttime pain that was a part of their carpal tunnel syndrome first. After that, they begin finding relief of the daytime numbness and tingling.
The severity of the carpal tunnel syndrome before surgery affects the outcome of the procedure, according to WebMD. If there has been severe muscle wasting prior to the surgery, the patient is likely to continue experiencing weakness in the affected hand after the operation. In a few rare cases, patients find the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome return after surgery.
The risks for complications after either type of surgery are low, reports WebMD. Open surgery is more likely to result in the formation of painful scar tissue at the incision site, while endoscopic surgery is more likely to cause temporary nerve damage. As of 2015, research has not shown one type of surgery to have greater benefits than the other.