Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the medical condition where the median nerve, running from the forearm to the palm, is compressed.
The median nerve provides feeling to the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers of the hand and also the signal to move the thumb muscles. The median nerve and the flexor tendons pass through the carpal tunnel at the wrist and then go into the hand. The flexor tendons help to bend the fingers and the thumb. The floor of the tunnel is made of carpal bones at the hand’s base in a ‘U’ shaped arch.
In majority of the cases, the symptoms start gradually without a specific injury. For some patients, the symptoms come and go at first and as the condition worsens, symptoms occur more frequently over time.
The treatment can only provide a chance to slow down or stop the progression of the disease. It is important to get evaluated and diagnosed by the doctor at an early stage.
The symptoms for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be relieved using non-surgical methods, provided it is diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
The different non-surgical treatment options are:
The doctors will recommend surgical treatment options if the symptoms are not relieved from non-surgical methods.
The severity of the symptoms, like the pain severity and the numbness of the hand will determine the surgery. In some cases, surgery is recommended for constant numbness and wastage of thumb muscles to prevent irreparable damage to the nerves.
The surgical procedure performed is called the Carpal Tunnel Release. In this procedure, the pressure is relieved from the median nerve by cutting the ligaments forming the roof of the tunnel, by increasing the size of the tunnel and decreasing pressure on the median nerve. The procedure is usually an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia or local anesthesia of the arm.
This can be performed by two different techniques.