Carpal Tunnel Release 

Carpal Tunnel Release 

The Carpal tunnel is a slender path present in the wrist, almost one inch wide. The purpose of the carpal tunnel to protect the median nerve that plays a significant role in sensations and the bending of the fingers and thumb. 

When the tissues called synovium present around carpal tunnel swell or when the tunnel becomes narrowed, it results in carpal tunnel syndrome. The inflammation of synovium takes all the space of the carpal tunnel and hardens the nerve. It results in compression of the amedian nerve – causing pain, numbness, and feeling of tingling in the hand.

The significant cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve due to inflammation or swelling. As median never is the main nerve present in hand, which provides the impulse to muscles of the hand. Some other causes of this syndrome are high blood pressure, diabetes, hemodialysis, thyroid dysfunction, pregnancy, Alcoholism, fracture or trauma, and amyloid deposits.

Symptoms  

Symptoms can come and go away – depending upon the condition. Carpal tunnel syndrome can become from mild to severe if overstretched frequently. Some of the common symptoms include

  • The sensation of pain and burning in hand and arm
  • Shock-like sensations and pain in the wrist
  • Numbness and tingling in the thumb and other fingers.
  • Weakness and clumsiness in the hand
  • Inability to perform tasks like holding, writing or handling objects

Treatment Options

The treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome vary from person to person and depend upon the severity and condition.

Non-surgical treatment

Non-surgical treatments are always preferred over surgical ones. Non-surgical treatments include;

  • Exercise – Stretching and massaging hand help to reduce pain. Nerve slithering can help in better movement of the wrist joint.
  • Medication – Painkillers like ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, and others help provide relief from the pain.
  • Corticosteroids – Corticosteroid injections are also given locally to provide relief from pain, and they have shown to decrease inflammation and swelling, which relieves pressure on the median nerve.  

Surgical treatment

Carpal tunnel surgery is usually performed when all non-surgical treatments fail to work, and the muscle of the hands starts to become weaker and weaker. These may include;

  • Endoscopic surgery – This process involves using a telescope with a tiny camera attached, inserted in the skin to see the inside of the carpal tunnel. One or two incisions are made to cut the ligaments. The transverse carpal ligament is divided to reduce pressure on the median never. This surgery is less painful and provides fast recovery.
  • Open carpal tunnel release – An incision is made in the palm over the carpal tunnel. The transverse carpal ligament is divided, and it results in increasing the size of the tube and reduces pressure on the median nerve. The pressure on the median nerve is relieved, and ligaments may gradually grow back together. 
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