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Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common, painful, progressive condition caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist area.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and tingling in all fingers except the little finger, pain and burning sensation in the hand and wrist radiating to the arm and elbow, and decreased grip strength and weakness in your hand.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The exact causes of the condition are unknown. However, certain factors increase the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome:

  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Repetitive movement of the hands and wrists
  • Fractures and sprains
  • Medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Rheumatic joint inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Overactive pituitary gland
  • Presence of cyst or tumor in the canal

Conservative Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated using conservative approaches. Conservative treatments include:

Treatment of Underlying Medical Conditions

  • Hand and wrist immobilization with splint or wrist splint for 4-6 weeks
  • Rest your hand for 2 weeks or more
  • Ice packs to prevent swelling
  • Avoid activities that tend to worsen symptoms
  • Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises when symptoms subside
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relieving Surgery
  • If conservative treatment options fail to resolve the condition, your surgeon may recommend surgery.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with carpal tunnel release surgery. Conventional surgery involves an incision of up to 2 inches in the palm and wrist area, while endoscopic surgery involves one or two half-inch incisions and the use of an endoscope. During surgery, the transverse carpal ligament will be dissected to release pressure on the median nerve and widen the carpal tunnel. Your surgeon will decide which options are best for you based on your general and medical condition.

Post-Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief Surgery Care

Your surgeon may recommend that you perform certain postoperative procedures to heal better and avoid further complications.

  • Raise your hand above heart level to reduce swelling.
  • Wear a splint.
  • Place a towel-wrapped ice pack on the surgical site to reduce swelling.
  • Keep the surgical incision clean and dry. Cover the area with plastic wrap while bathing or showering.
  • Physical therapy may be requested to restore your wrist strength.
  • Preferring healthy diet meals and not smoking will accelerate recovery.

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