There are 2 types of ‘open carpal tunnel’ incisions. The ‘traditional’ extends from the mid palm proximal to the wrist. It is the incision that most people associate with the open approach, however, it is rarely used anymore. Conditions requiring the traditional approach include recurrence and cases involving severe inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tendons and nerve in the wrist aka synovitis.
The mini-open approach is the more common approach performed today. It utilizes approximately a 3cm incision on the palm and if necessary can be performed under local anesthetic. Cypress Hand Surgeon Dr. Fiore places a dry dressing which is kept in place for 48 hours after which it is removed. At this point the patient may wash his/her wound in the shower or sink, but no baths or washing dishes is allowed until the wound has healed completely. No splint is utilized and the patient begins range of motion exercises for the fingers in the recovery room. The sutures are removed 1-2 weeks after surgery.