Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
Underlying Problem Requiring Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery:
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often considered to be the result of repetitive motion, such as typing or operating certain types of machinery day after day. In fact, there is a large genetic component to the disease, and the work-related causes are highly debated. No matter what the cause, the result is that the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. This leads to muscles weakness and numbness in the hand. The .carpal tunnel. itself is a section of the wrist that has room for nine tendons to pass through it. The median nerve also passes through this canal and can be pinched if the contents of the carpal tunnel expand.
One of the biggest indicators of carpal tunnel release surgery is that symptoms will appear when the patient is sleeping, due to the bending of wrists at night. The most telling of the symptoms are numbness and paresthesia, which is a tingling or burning sensation.
Carpal tunnel release surgery is not usually the first option in treatment of this disease. Patients will often start treatment by employing splints or braces to keep the wrists from bending. A second line of treatment includes receiving steroid injections to temporarily provide relief from symptoms. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are both used, with varying degrees of confidence from medical researchers. Simple over-the counter medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can be used to lessen inflammation and cause relief. In more severe cases, the patient may be treated with cortisone injections.
For more long-term effects, many patients turn to carpal tunnel release surgery. This is especially recommended for patients whose numbness and weakness is ongoing, rather than intermittent. This procedure requires the doctor to cut the transverse carpal ligament that runs from the base of the thumb to the base of the middle finger. This ligament forms part of the carpel tunnel, so cutting it causes it to stop pressing down on the nerves inside the canal.
The carpal tunnel release surgery can be performed either as an \"open\" surgery or as an endoscopic surgery. The doctor will create a one-to-two inch incision in the palm in order to see and divide the transverse carpal ligament. In the case of an endoscopic surgery, two smaller incisions are required.
Recovery from Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery:
The recovery time for carpal tunnel release surgery is relatively short. The type of procedure used will affect the overall duration, but most patients can expect to be back to normal activity levels within a couple of weeks. Scarring is also minimal and does not usually cause undue distress. There is a very low risk of recurrence after carpal tunnel release surgery, and up to 90% of those treated with such a procedure are able to return to their previous jobs.
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