Operation for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
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Carpal tunnel syndrome surgery relieves the symptoms of weakness or pain in the forearm and hand. It normally manifests itself as a tingling sensation, numbness or pain.
The operation for carpal tunnel syndrome involves the cutting of a ligament in the wrist and as a reuslt this relieves the pressure on the nerve. GPs will only recommend surgery is the symptoms are severe or have been on-going for many months.
The surgery involves cutting the carpal ligament. This reduces pressure on the nerve which runs through the wrist into the hand. If successful, the pain will dissipate immediately but any tingling or numbness will take longer to improve.
The procedure is carried out through a 3 to 4cm cut in the palm of the hand. This is either through open surgery, where a single cut is made in the wrist to reach the carpal ligament, or through keyhole surgery, where an instrument and telescopic camera are inserted through a small cut.
Both procedures are carried out on an as an out-patient and are under local anaesthetic, so there’s no need for an overnight stay in hospital.
If you don’t want to undergo surgery or if the symptoms are mild, there are alternatives. Wrist splints can help. They keep the wrist straight which reduces the pressure on the nerve. Improvements to your posture, particularly if you work at a desk or use a keyboard, can also help your condition. You can also get a corticosteroid injection which will reduce the inflammation in the wrist.