Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition in which pressure is placed on one of the main nerves to the hand called the median nerve. Symptoms include numbness of the fingers, often worse at night, as well as associated pain. In advanced cases the small muscles to the thumb can become wasted.
Nerve conduction studies is a diagnostic test which may be utilised to aid the diagnosis
Candidates for carpal tunnel syndrome surgical release:
- permanent numbness
- intermittent numbness which persists for more than 3 months and is unrelieved by rest
About carpal tunnel release
The ligament on the roof of the carpal tunnel is divided opening up this space and allowing the nerve to regain its function.
What to expect after carpal tunnel surgery
Surgery is performed as a day case either under light sedation or local anaesthetic only. The hand is bandaged for the first week followed by a light dressing. Sutures are generally removed after 3 weeks.
The ‘compressive’ symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will generally be relieved immediately with the surgery. However numbness can sometimes persist, if so it will generally settle within 3 months.
Strength is often the final aspect of the recovery to occur.