Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tissue surrounding the tendons in the wrist swell and put pressure on the nerve
Numbness, tingling and pain in thumb, index finger, middle finger and edge of the ring finger are common symptoms, with altered sensations and pain travelling up the arm also experienced in some cases. Common complaints include weakness, clumsiness and frequently dropping things. If the condition is severe the muscles at the base of the thumb may become wasted.
Tests: Physical tests and electrical or nerve conduction tests are often done to confirm the diagnosis.
Non-surgical: If symptoms are mild to moderate the condition may be treated with bracing or splinting to prevent irritation. Alternatively anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections may provide relief as will avoiding positions or activities that aggravate the symptoms.
Surgical: If non-surgical treatments do not provide relief or the condition is severe then surgery is considered. Surgical management involves a small incision and use of a small camera to cut the ligament. As the ligament heals across the division it allows more space for the nerve and tendons.
Some pain, swelling and stiffness can be expected after surgery and a wrist brace may be required for up to three weeks. Minor soreness may persist for several months and weakness may remain for up to six months. Physiotherapy exercises may be recommended to help with movement and strength. Driving, self–care activities and light lifting may be permitted soon after surgery.