Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common medical issue that afflicts many people. It occurs when a nerve in your wrist is compressed by the other tissue in the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome can result in numbness and pain in your hand. If non-invasive treatments have not helped you, you may benefit from surgery. Here are some things you need to know:
Should You Have Carpal Tunnel Surgery?
If you have tried other treatments, such as wearing a splint or changing up your workspace to more ergonomic-friendly conditions, your doctor may recommend surgery. This is common in more severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome. Those with a major dysfunction in the nerves can lose the ability to use their hand properly.
What Happens During Your Surgery?
To correct carpal tunnel syndrome, the surgeon will cut the ligaments that are causing the problem. The goal is to increase the space in the area to help relieve pressure on the nerve. The procedure can be done either endoscopically or fully open. Endoscopic surgery uses an endoscopic tube that has a small camera on the end. The tube is placed through a small incision. The surgeon will then use small instruments to cut the afflicted ligaments. Endoscopic surgery has a faster recovery time and is often the preferred method to correct carpal tunnel syndrome.
A fully open surgery is comprised of opening a small incision on the wrist. The surgeon uses conventional tools to cut the ligaments to help improve nerve function.
Once the procedure is over, the area will be stitched to close the incisions.
Are There Risks to Carpal Tunnel Surgery?
There are risks to any surgical procedure, but the risks are low with carpal tunnel surgery. You may have some bruising to the area, but this will fade with time. You might notice some numbness at the incision site initially. You might also have some scarring on your skin as a result of the incision. In addition, you might experience some swelling. In very few cases, infection is also a risk. If there is any redness around the area, you experience a fever, or the area is hot to the touch, contact your doctor right away.
How Do You Recover from Carpal Tunnel Surgery?
Once the surgery is over, your wrist will be bandaged for a few weeks to help keep the area static. You will be instructed on how to move other parts of your hand to prevent any complications. After the incisions are fully healed, you will receive physical therapy to improve strength in your wrist.
If you need carpal tunnel surgery or other orthopedic treatment, reach out to a medical facility in your area.