29 Nov Carpal Tunnel Syndrome And Nerve Decompression Surgery
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (otherwise known as median nerve compression) is caused by compression of the median nerve at a passage near the front of the wrist. This compression is where the nerve passes over the carpal bones and alongside the flexor tendons in the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. This pressure happens when the carpal tunnel which the nerve passes through is smaller due to swelling or other reasons. This swelling is usually caused by long periods of repetitive movements, like something that might be done on the job. However, there can also be causes such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, pregnancy, and hypothyroidism.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is most often associated with numbness of the first three fingers. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and controls most of your fingers. Therefore, the pinched nerve causes finger numbness, occasionally pain. Some patients with carpal tunnel syndrome may have burning, numbness, weakness, pain and tingling in the hand, wrist and arm.
Do you think that you have carpal tunnel syndrome but aren’t sure? Make sure to get checked by your doctor. There are a few things that you can expect to happen in your appointment with the doctor. Be ready to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or have any history of health problems related to diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or hypothyroidism. If you do not, fill your doctor in on if you have recently been hurt or what your daily routine might be like. There could be an injury or habitual routine to blame that you might not have realized caused this pain. After checking your hand, wrist, arm, neck, and shoulders, the doctor might want to also run tests if they feel they need more information. These tests can include nerve and blood tests.
How do I treat carpal tunnel syndrome?
There are options for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it depends on how serious the condition is of the injury. If the condition is not serious, home remedies and treatment can be followed in order to help with healing and containment of pain. These remedies can include; resting hand, wrist and arm between painful activities, stopping the activities that cause pain, icing wrist twice an hour for ten to fifteen minutes, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and wearing a wrist splint. All of these measures will help to take pressure off the medium nerve and help to relieve some of the pain that comes along with the condition.
If the condition is more serious, then surgery can be an option. This surgery is called nerve decompression surgery. Nerve decompression surgery relieves pressure on the median nerve and is minimally invasive.
What happens during nerve decompression surgery?
During nerve decompression surgery, a small incision is made on top of the nerve area. The tunnels are then cleared by releasing tight fascial bands, tissues, or vessels that are pressing on the nerve. This is done with microsurgical techniques and instruments, and does not cut or manipulate any nerves. This allows for nerve regeneration and function to turn back to normal. If done in a timely manner after onset of symptoms, this procedure can reverse the condition and rid the arm of carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you have more questions about carpal tunnel syndrome or nerve decompression surgery, contact Dr. Ducic, plastic surgeon and nerve surgery expert.