Surgeons typically will deem a surgery as successful if any of the original symptoms are eliminated immediately after surgery or if there is any improvement to the condition after surgery. By this standard, Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery yields high success rates, because once the Transverse Carpal Ligament is severed, the pressure on the Median Nerve is eliminated and some of the original symptoms are usually relieved.
However, a patient’s point of view can be very different from the surgeon’s point of view. To a Patient, if only some of the symptoms improve, but not all of the symptoms, the surgical procedure is not considered a success. Also, Patients deem success of a surgical procedure based on how quickly they recover without lingering effects. Recovery can take anywhere from 6 weeks to over a year to regain some of the basic functionality with painstaking rehabilitation programs and a lot of downtime. All that downtime can be very frustrating to a patient who depends on their hands for the most basic of needs of everyday life.
Also, most patients report permanent tenderness over the point of incision for years after surgery. Patients also report a permanent loss of grip strength for years. These are issues they were not told about before surgery and so it causes frustration, misunderstanding and a lack of trust in the system.
Some people experience a build-up of scar tissue around the Carpal Tunnel during the healing process and in these cases the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel will be worse after surgery, than the symptoms were before.
For some people the symptoms are relieved immediately after surgery, but once the transverse carpal ligament scars back together, it has the same space as before and the symptoms return when they resume full activity with their hands.