Carpal Tunnel Release (CTR)

You are able to move the fingers of your hand because of nerves and tendons running through a narrow passage or “tunnel” in your wrist. If you already have a small carpal tunnel or have injured or overused this part of your arm, pressure on the nerve can cause you to experience tingling and numbness in your hand. Eventually, the condition becomes painful and can even impact function. A carpal tunnel release can alleviate symptoms and restore normal function.

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Provider List

2900 12th Avenue North #140W & #100E
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 237-5050

When Procedure is Used

Carpal tunnel syndrome starts slowly and gets worse over time, particularly on the thumb side of your hand. Before considering surgery, you will likely have tried other methods to ease the symptoms including medication, physical therapy, and splints. If these do not lead to improvement or if the symptoms worsen, the doctor will likely test the nerve to verify that you have carpal tunnel syndrome and will require surgery.

During Surgery

A carpal tunnel release is usually performed with just a local anesthetic that will numb your wrist and hand. The surgeon will either make a two-inch incision in your wrist to cut the carpal ligament and make the carpal tunnel larger, or the surgery might be performed using an endoscope. In this case, you will have two smaller incisions through which your surgeon will perform the procedure using a small camera to see inside your wrist.


The risk of complications is very low. However, potential risks might include

  • allergic reactions to medications
  • nerve damage
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • injury to surrounding tissues


  • elimination of or decrease in pain
  • improved function in the hand
  • improved hand strength

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