Pre-Operative Information

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Scheduling Your Surgery

  • Janelle will work with you on selecting a time and a place for your surgery. She will also do the necessary insurance verification, however it is a good idea for you to contact your insurance company and understand what your deductible will be for an elective surgery. Please contact Jen with any scheduling questions; (703) 810-5202.
  • If you would like to watch a procedure animation of your surgery you may visit our website, select procedure animations, then orthopaedics, then hand and then endoscopic carpal tunnel. (this animation is not completely accurate, as only 1 incision is made)
  • If you would like to watch the procedure on youTube search for ‘single incision endoscopic carpal tunnel release.

Pre-Operative Instructions

  • Depending on your age and medical history you may be required to have an EKG and or blood work pre-operatively. The anesthesiologist and the hospital require this. Depending on the facility these tests will have to be performed within 1-3 weeks of your surgery.
  • If you take Coumadin, Plavix or another anti-coagulant please be sure and let us know so we may coordinate with your Cardiologist or Internist about when to stop and restart your medication.
  • If you take Methotrexate, Humera, Enbrel or another medication for Rheumatoid arthritis please let us know so we may coordinate with your Rheumatologist when to stop and restart your medication.
  • You will receive a phone call from the hospital the day before your surgery confirming the time of your surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless specifically told by the pre-operative nurse. You may take your prescription medication with sips of water.

Day of Surgery

  • You will be asked to arrive 1-2 hours prior to your surgery. Please wear comfortable clothing. Please remove ALL jewelry from the operative hand.
  • Please understand that the scheduled time of your operation is an estimation, there may be other surgeries before yours that take longer than planned. NO surgeries will be rushed to stay on schedule, including yours.
  • The surgery is done under General Anesthesia. You must have someone with you to drive you home, NO exceptions. They do not have to stay with you during the procedure.
  • The procedure itself takes 15 minutes.


  • You will be monitored in the recovery room for about 1 hour, depending on how quickly you recover from the anesthesia.
  • You will be given a set of discharge instruction that the nurse will go over with you. You will also be given a prescription for pain medicine (usually Percocet) and an anti-nausea medicine (usually Phenergan).
  • Most people take the pain medicine for 24-48 hours.
  • The light dressing and ace bandage are to be left in place for 48 hours.
  • You will be able to do basic activities of daily living immediately after surgery (eating, dressing, going to the bathroom)
  • You will not be able to do any heavy lifting (>5 pounds) until after the stitches are removed.
  • Depending on how you feel you may return to work 1-3 days after surgery if you do mostly office based work and 2 weeks if you do heavy construction.
  • Please set up a post-operative appointment 10-14 days after the surgery to check the wound and remove the stitches.
  • Most patients do not require physical therapy after carpal tunnel release surgery.
  • You may not drive while you are taking the narcotic medication. Once you are off of the narcotic pain medication driving is up to your discretion.

Educational Videos