Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery Right For You

Source – AcuNatural Health

Carpal tunnel syndrome weakens the muscles in your hands and wrists over time. If your symptoms persist over an extended period, your health will deteriorate.

If any of the following apply to you, your doctor may recommend surgery.


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 17 Dec 2021.

Is Carpal Tunnel Surgery Right For You

The pressure on your median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome. Except for your pinky, this is what provides you sensation in your thumb and all of your fingers. The nerve travels via the carpal tunnel, a small passage composed of bone and ligament that runs through your wrist. If your wrist swells, that tunnel becomes compressed, pinching your median nerve. Wrist braces and corticosteroids may assist, but in more severe instances, surgery may be required. 

As a result, you’re experiencing symptoms.

You should know what to anticipate whether you’ve chosen to undergo surgery or are still considering it.

When Would My Doctor Suggest Surgery?

Carpal tunnel syndrome weakens the muscles in your hands and wrists over time. If your symptoms persist over an extended period, your health will deteriorate.

If any of the following apply to you, your doctor may recommend surgery:

  • Other treatments, such as braces, corticosteroids, and lifestyle modifications, haven’t worked.
  • You’ve had pain, numbness, and tingling for six months, and it hasn’t gone away or improved.
  • You’re finding it more challenging to hold, grab, or squeeze things the way you used to.

What Are My Surgery Options?

Carpal tunnel surgery is divided into two types: open and endoscopic. Your doctor will remove the ligament surrounding the carpal tunnel in both instances to alleviate pressure on the median nerve and ease your symptoms. The ligament was reattached after surgery but with ideal space for the median nerve to pass through.

  • Open surgery requires a more significant cut or incision up to 2 inches long from wrist to palm.
  • In endoscopic surgery, One incision is made in your wrist by your surgeon. They may make one in your arm as well. These are smaller slices, measuring approximately a half-inch apiece. They then insert a small camera into one of the holes to assist them with cutting the ligament.

Endoscopic surgery allows you to recover quicker and with minor discomfort since the holes are smaller. Consult your doctor to determine which procedure is best for you.

Results and Risks

Most individuals who undergo carpal tunnel surgery report that their symptoms are relieved and do not return. Even if you have a severe case, surgery may help, but you may still have numbness, tingling, or discomfort.

Any operation has some level of risk. They include the following for both kinds of carpal tunnel release surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Your median nerve, as well as adjacent nerves and blood vessels, may be damaged.
  • Your wound is infected.
  • A scar that stings when you touch it

What’s the Surgery Like?

To begin, you’ll be given a local anaesthetic, which will numb your hand and wrist. You may also be prescribed medication to help you stay calm. (For carpal tunnel syndrome, general anaesthesia, which means you won’t be conscious throughout surgery, is uncommon.)

Your doctor closes the wounds and wraps your wrist in a big bandage when the surgery is completed. This helps to shield your damage while also preventing you from utilising your wrist.

Before allowing you to go home, your doctor and nurses will keep a close watch on you. You’ll most likely be discharged from the hospital the same day. Overnight stays are very uncommon.

How Long Does It Take to Heal?

You may get symptom alleviation the same day as your operation, but full recovery takes months. After the surgery, you should expect discomfort, swelling, and stiffness. Your doctor will advise you on which medications may be beneficial. After surgery, you may have some pain for a few weeks to a few months.

For 1-2 weeks, your bandage will be on. Your doctor may prescribe activities to keep your fingers moving and prevent them from becoming too stiff during this period. In the first two weeks, you may use your hand gently, but it’s best to avoid putting too much pressure on it.

You may gradually return to more regular activities, such as:

  • When it comes to a driving (a couple of days after surgery)
  • Composing (after a week, but expect 4-6 weeks before it feels more accessible.
  • Pulling, grasping, and pinching (but only gently) (6-8 weeks out). Expect to be back to full strength in 10-12 weeks, or up to a year in more extreme instances.)

Your doctor will discuss when you will be able to return to work and be restricted in what you can accomplish.

Will I Need Occupational Therapy?

If you do, your doctor will advise you to do so after your bandage is off. Exercises to enhance hand and wrist mobility will be taught, which will help you recover faster.

Some individuals discover that their wrists aren’t as strong as they were before surgery. Occupational therapy may help you gain strength if this occurs to you.

Sources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/carpal-tunnel/do-i-need-carpal-tunnel-surgery 
  2. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, OrthInfo: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
  3. Mayo Clinic: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”
  4. NIH, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Fact Sheet.”
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Carpal Tunnel Release.”
  6. University of Washington Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine: “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.”

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