Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is an opening in your wrist that is formed by the carpal bones on the bottom of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament across the top of the wrist. The median nerve provides sensory and motor functions to the thumb and 3 middle fingers. If it gets compressed or irritated, you may have symptoms.
These are the most common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms:
- Weakness when gripping objects with one or both hands
- Pain or numbness in one or both hands
- "Pins and needles" feeling in the fingers
- Swollen feeling in the fingers
- Burning or tingling in the fingers, especially the thumb and the index and middle fingers
- Pain or numbness that is worse at night, interrupting sleep
Treatment may include:
- Splinting your hand. This helps keep your wrist from moving. It also eases the compression of the nerves inside the tunnel.
- Anti-inflammatory medication. These may be oral or injected into the carpal tunnel space. These reduce the swelling.
- Surgery. This eases compression on the nerves in the carpal tunnel.
- Worksite changes. Changing position of your computer keyboard or making other ergonomic changes can help ease symptoms.
Carpal tunnel release is a surgery that’s used to treat and potentially heal carpal tunnel syndrome. During a carpal tunnel release, a surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This provides more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel, and usually improves pain and function.
Learn more about carpal tunnel surgery.
Watch: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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