Frequestly Asked Questions – FAQs

What is carpal tunnel syndrome ?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a nerve compression that causes tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers, thumb, or palm, and sometimes the forearm. These symptoms are caused by pressure on a nerve called median nerve in the wrist’s carpal tunnel.

This problem is often linked to hand and wrist motions called repetitive motions.

Swelling or fluid retention in the wrist—which can happen during pregnancy or because of a health problem—also can cause carpal tunnel symptoms or make this condition worse.

 

What problems can you have from carpal tunnel syndrome ?

Severe carpal tunnel syndrome that lasts a long time can lead to permanent damage to the median nerve. This can make it hard to use the hand and fingers.

You may have:

1. Pain.

2. Weak thumb muscles. This makes it hard to grip or hold objects.

3. Loss of feeling and ability to use fingers and hand well.

 

How does Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery fix carpal tunnel syndrome ?

Surgery reduces the pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. A ligament is cut to relieve the pressure on the nerve.

The surgery is called carpal tunnel release or carpal tunnel decompression.

You may decide to have surgery if you’ve had very bad symptoms for a long time and other treatments have failed.

Sometimes surgery is needed to prevent lasting nerve damage. You will likely have a nerve conduction test to see if you need surgery.

 

How well does surgery work ?

Most people who have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome have less or no pain and numbness in their hand and better hand function after surgery.

It’s not clear how long you should try non-surgical treatment before considering surgery. But after people who have severe carpal tunnel syndrome have surgery, they typically have fewer symptoms and better hand function than people who continue using wrist splints or a combination of medicine and hand exercise therapy.

Major problems from surgery can happen, but they are rare. About 1 person out of 100 has a major problem after surgery, such as nerve damage, while 99 out of 100 people typically don’t.

What can you do other than have surgery?

You can try several home treatments to help relieve your symptoms. This may be all you need to do for mild symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. It is suggested that you try these treatments for 3 to 12 months before you think about having surgery. It often helps to try several treatments at the same time.

You may try to:

1. Rest your hand for 1 or 2 weeks. Stop activities that hurt.

2. Put ice on the palm of your hand and wrist for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

3. Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Studies haven’t shown NSAIDs to be effective for carpal tunnel syndrome, but they may help relieve your symptoms.

3. Change the way you do certain hand motions.

4. Wear a wrist splint. It’s usually worn at night, but you can wear it during the day.

 

Other options other then Surgery :

1. You can work with a physiotherapist to learn how to do hand activities in a new way.

2. If these initial treatments don’t help, you may given corticosteroid injection as a 2nd line therapy.

3. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in pregnant women often go away after childbirth. Unless your symptoms are very bad, you may want to put off having surgery and see if your symptoms go away after you have the baby.

 

How well do other treatments help symptoms ?

1. Rest, ice, and other home treatments may be all you need if you’ve had mild symptoms for a short time.

2. You may try wrist splints or corticosteroids injections to avoid or delay surgery.

3. Splints are easy and inexpensive, and there is little risk to trying them.

4. Corticosteroid injections and anti-inflammatory medication give short-term relief from symptoms.

 

Why might you be recommended surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Your might be recommended and referred for surgery if:

1. You’ve had very bad symptoms for a long time, so you’re at risk of having lasting nerve damage.

2. Nerve Conduction Test shows that you have nerve damage.

3. A wrist splint, pain medicines, and other treatments haven’t helped your symptoms or you have come to a point where the above remedies are not helping you anymore.

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