Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Referral and Treatment Criteria applies – see RaTC - Carpal tunnel syndrome release



Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that causes tingling, numbness and sometimes pain in the hand and fingers. It occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand – the median nerve – is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist.



NHS England guidance recommends that mild cases of carpal tunnel syndrome with intermittent symptoms causing little or no interference with sleep or activities require no treatment

Cases with intermittent symptoms which interfere with activities or sleep should first be treated with:

  • corticosteroid injection(s) provided by an appropriately trained healthcare practitioner, or
  • night splints


Surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome should be considered if one of the following criteria are met:

  • The symptoms significantly interfere with daily activities and sleep and have not settled to a manageable level with either one local corticosteroid injection and/or nocturnal splinting for a minimum of 8 weeks; or
  • There is either:
    • a permanent reduction in sensation in the median nerve distribution; or
    • muscle wasting or weakness of thenar abduction


Nerve conduction studies if available are suggested for consideration before surgery to predict positive surgical outcome or where the diagnosis is


Refer also to the policy on Smoking status of patients prior to non-urgent surgery


Individual Funding Request form

Click here for the IFR Home page where you will be asked to register / log in to make an IFR application

For any queries please contact IFR Team on : 01732 375214 |

Have a question or query?

Get in touch