About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is carpal tunnel treatment?
Carpal tunnel treatment refers to the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a disease caused by pressure on the median nerve of the wrist. Patients suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome experience numbness, tingling sensations, weakness or pain in the hand, fingers, and forearm. This may occur due to pregnancy, diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism and arthritis. It also occurs as a result of wrist injuries, such as fractures. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also caused by improper usage of the hands and wrists for a long period. This is caused by pressure on the median nerve that leads to swelling of the tissues surrounding the carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel treatments may include surgical as well as non-surgical treatments.
What are the different types of carpel tunnel treatments?
The different types of carpel tunnel treatments are as follows:
How to prepare for carpal tunnel surgery?
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated with various medications to heal the pain and subside the swelling of the affected area. Pain killers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines may be given to the patient for early symptoms caused by strain. Medication may need to be taken orally or injected into the wrist. Vitamin B supplements are also provided to patients suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Exercises such as stretching and strengthening are also used as a carpal tunnel treatment. A physical therapist or an occupational therapist may supervise these exercises.
- Other therapies: Acupuncture and chiropractic treatment may also benefit patients who are suffering from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga is also known to be effective in treating this disease.
Surgery is recommended if the patient has been suffering from the symptoms since 6 months without any effect of the non-surgical treatments. The tissue around the wrist is cut to lessen the pressure on the median nerve. Surgery may be required on both hands. There are two types of surgery:
- Open Release Surgery
In an open release surgery, an incision of about 2 inches is made in the patient’s wrist. The carpel ligament is then cut to expand the carpal tunnel. Pressure on the nerve of the carpal tunnel is then relieved. The incision is closed and bandaged with a dressing.
- Endoscopic Surgery
In an endoscopic surgery, two incisions of about half an inch each is made in the wrist and palm. An endoscopic tube with a camera attached to it is inserted through one of the incisions, which enables the surgeon to view the surgery on a screen. The carpal ligament is then cut using endoscopic surgical tools to expand the carpal tunnel. Pressure on the nerve of the carpal tunnel is then relieved. The incision is closed and bandaged with a dressing. An endoscopic surgery reduces scarring and ensures a sooner recovery.
- The patient is required to stop eating anything solid or liquid for a minimum of 8 hours before the surgery.
- The doctor may impose diet restrictions. Before the doctor recommends surgery, the doctor will perform various tests on the patient to examine the nerve function of the patient’s hand.
- A neurologist, an orthopedic surgeon or a rheumatologist may examine the nerve conduction and find out if arthritis is causing the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Duration of procedure/surgery : Carpal tunnel surgery takes 30 minutes to 1 hour
Days admitted : None. Carpal tunnel treatment is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Anesthesia : Carpal tunnel surgery is done under local anesthesia. Other forms of treatment do not require anesthesia.
Recovery : - After the surgery, the patient is taken to the recovery room until the anesthesia wears off.
- Patients may experience nausea and shivering, for which medication and blankets may be provided.
- Pain medication may also be given to relieve pain after the surgery.
- If patients have undergone surgery in both hands, they may be unable to perform any activities up to 2 weeks.
- Normally, patients can resume daily activities 3 to 4 weeks after the surgery. They may be able to perform heavy activities 6 weeks after the surgery.
- Most of the patients recover completely after the surgery without any recurrence of the disease.
- Some patients may need to undergo physical therapy to recover wrist strength.
Risks : The risks involved in a carpal tunnel surgery are as follows:
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Incomplete ligament release
- Damage to the nerves
- 10% of patients may experience wrist weakness
After care : - Patients should not drive for a minimum of 24 hours after the surgery.
- For the first few days, patients are advised to keep their hand elevated above the level of the heart. This is done to reduce swelling.
- Wrist support should be worn as per the doctor’s instructions.
- The doctor’s instructions on medication and wound care should be followed carefully.
- Heavy activities should be avoided for a month or two.
- A complete recovery may take 3 to 12 months depending on the type and intensity of the surgery.
Learn more about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome