Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ

Question:

What is neurapraxia? My brother-in-law had carpal tunnel surgery and now he has this problem.

Answer:

Neurapraxia is the loss of nerve function resulting in tingling, numbness and weakness and the hand and fingers. It is usually caused by compression of the nerve.

Injury to the nerve during carpal tunnel surgery can result in paralysis. But the nerve doesn't die or degenerate so the condition is transient or temporary. There can be rapid and complete recovery of function.

The most common complications of carpal tunnel release include nerve, tendon, or blood vessel injury. Cutting any of these structures can occur during CTR with problems afterward. This doesn't happen very often anymore (less than one per cent) because of all the improvements in surgical technique.

Problems of this type were more common in the mid 1990's when a new method of operation was first introduced called endoscopic carpal tunnel release (ECTR). Instead of cutting the wrist open, the surgeon inserts a special tool called an endoscope under the skin into the carpal tunnel area.

Improved equipment, technique and experience brought the complication rate for ECTR down equal to the rate for open CTR. Leon S. Benson, MD, et al. Complications of Endoscopic and Open Carpal Tunnel Release. In Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery. September 2006. Vol. 22. No. 9. Pp. 919-924.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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