If you are having carpal tunnel release surgery, you will be given anesthesia to eliminate the pain felt during the procedure. And your anesthesia will depend on the type of surgery you have.
Local anesthesia is given to you if you are awake during surgery, while general anesthesia will be given to you if you are put to sleep. Regionally applied anesthesia means that medicine is injected to numb your hand and arm. The anesthesia will remove all pain sensation, but because you’re awake during the surgery you might feel some pressure or movements in the surgical site. General anesthesia will knock you out totally. You will be in a deep sleep and will not be aware of pain or pressure or anything else.
Using regional anesthesia, your doctor will inject you with a numbing medicine to numb your whole hand and arm. This is known as an axillary block. As the anesthesia is injected you might have a burning feeling that lasts for a few minutes. You’ll also receive additional medicine through an intravenous tube to relax you and make you sleepy. The regional anesthesia will remove all pain sensations but you may still feel some movement and pressure in the surgical site.
If you are put to sleep for carpal tunnel release surgery you will be given a general anesthesia. This will put you into a deep sleep state, and you will not be aware of pain, movement or pressure during your surgery.
At first you will breathe through an oxygen mask. Then a medicine will be administered through your IV. This will make you feel relaxed as you slowly drift into sleep. Once you’re completely asleep, a breathing tube will be inserted into your windpipe to help you breathe better during the operation. Your doctor will give you other medicines as needed during your operation through the IV or breathing tube.
Talk to your doctor prior to the surgery to answer any questions you have about the choice or possible side effects of the anesthesia.
Make Sure You Actually Need Surgery
According to the National Institutes of Health and the American Association of Hand Surgeons, most people who get carpal tunnel surgery actually don't need it. Instead, they should have used non-surgical alternatives like deep tissue massage therapy. In other words, surgery should be your LAST option once you've tried every non-surgical method first.
That’s because carpal tunnel surgery doesn’t attack the root cause of the problem: tendon inflammation.
To permanently alleviate such inflammation, merely removing pressure on the median nerve like surgery attempts is not enough. And it's the main reason carpal tunnel surgery fails so often. Only deep tissue massage can alleviate the inflammation permanently because it drains fluid while also breaking the adhesions that cause the inflammation. It’s nearly 100% effective, but you need such massage expertly performed by a trained therapist daily and for 2-4 weeks. Or you can use the Carpal Rx which is calibrated to perform this identical deep tissue massage therapy on your wrist and forearm automatically, at home and every day for 2-4 weeks. (So why visit a therapist repeatedly if you don't have to?)