Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome is most often caused by the compression of the median nerve, which extends from the forearm, though the carpal tunnel and into the wrist. The median nerve registers sensation throughout much of the hand, and it relays the signals that allow motor function at the base of the thumb.
There are a number of circumstances that can lead to this nerve compression, including a wrist injury, rheumatoid arthritis, and repetitive stresses. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Tingling throughout the hands and fingers
- Numbness throughout the hands and fingers
- Stiffness of the fingers
- Weakened gripping ability
You should discuss your symptoms with a doctor if they persist long-term or begin to interfere with your daily activities. Without treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and muscle damage. If nonsurgical treatments have not relieved the symptoms, it’s advisable to consult with a plastic surgeon.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Carpal tunnel release surgery is intended to relieve strain on the median nerve by releasing the ligament putting pressure on the nerve. The two main techniques for accomplishing this are endoscopic surgery and open surgery.
In endoscopic surgery, a telescoping device with a miniature camera is used to view the interior of the carpal tunnel. This allows the surgeon a close look at the transverse carpal ligament, which is cut via tiny incisions made in the hand or wrist.
Sometimes, an open surgery may be recommended to access and cut the ligament, enlarge the carpal tunnel, or free the median nerve. In open surgery, a slightly larger incision is made in the palm of the hand to provide broader access.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery Results and Recovery
In most cases, full function of the hands will return and no symptoms will linger. In cases of severe carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery may restore function and reduce the pain, but some discomfort may remain.
As you heal, the ligament tissues will grow back, but there will be sufficient remaining space for the median nerve. You can begin using your hand soon after surgery, though soreness and weakness may linger for a few weeks or longer as you recover. Your plastic surgeon will recommend a recovery plan based on your condition and gradually clear you for increased activity.
To learn if carpal tunnel surgery can help you, please contact Precision Medical Arts today to schedule your consultation at one of our Long Island locations.