We evaluated the sensibility of the hand preoperatively and at intervals postoperatively in twenty-three hands of twenty patients with idiopathic carpal-tunnel syndrome who underwent carpal tunnel release. Tests of sensibility included the threshold tests (vibrometry, 256-cycles-per-second vibration, and Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments) and one innervation-density test (two-point discrimination). In addition the wrist-flexion test, nerve-percussion test, and tourniquet test were performed preoperatively. Only five of the twenty-three hands had abnormal two-point discrimination and each of these also had markedly abnormal threshold-test values. Nineteen of twenty-three hands preoperatively had decreased sensibility detected by both Semmes-Weinstein monofilament testing and vibrometry. Six weeks after carpal tunnel release, all of the hands demonstrated improvement on threshold testing, and 65 per cent had normal values.