Hand Surgeon Questions Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Is carpal tunnel surgery safe for a diabetic person?

My husband recently was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and now we are planning to have surgery. He is also diabetic, so I am worried if this surgery will be safe for him or not. Will it?

7 Answers

Yes, carpal tunnel release is OFTEN performed on diabetic hands as the diabetes is actually a risk factor for the problem. The results can be less favorable in diabetics if they have neuropathy (damage of the nerves from the diabetes). The results are still usually gratifying even in the face of neuropathy, however.
Yes it is safe as long as the patient is well controlled for his diabetes, ie blood sugar and A1C. Diabetics actually have a tendency to develop compression neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Yes. Diabetes is actually one of the contributory causes of carpal tunnel syndrome as a chronically elevated blood glucose results in the deposition of glucose in the structure of the transverse carpal ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. The scientific term for the process is called glycation. The process of glycation causes thickening and increased stiffness of the ligament. As the amount of space in the carpal tunnel is limited, increased pressure on the median nerve may eventually become symptomatic, requiring decompression. Prior to surgery, your glucose management should be optimized to minimize the risk of infection.
In general it is safe for most patients including those with diabetes. However, anyone with diabetes will have a slightly increased risk with any operation or medical procedure.
If you husband is medically stable and blood sugar is under good control, it is typically safe to proceed with carpal tunnel release surgery. Has he failed conservative treatment with a night splint ? has he had a nerve conduction / EMG study ?
Yes. Carpal tunnel surgery is quite safe and effective and usually does not require general anesthesia. It can usually be done under light sedation and local.
Diabetic patients can have surgery for Carpal Tunnel. Check with your doctor for details regarding individual needs for diabetic care and surgery.