Are You Suffering From Carpal Tunnel?

Hands are vital for almost every action today, from lifting, cleaning, writing, and much more. In addition, most people spend hours on phones, laptops, or operating machines. Over time, wrist pain, hand pain, and numbness can occur. The pain can lead to weakness and even arm pain. These are signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. In some cases, outpatient, minimally invasive surgery is the best treatment option.

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What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs due to pressure on the median nerve. The median nerve runs through the wrist and branches off to the fingers. This nerve passes through the carpal tunnel, a channel made of tissue and bone. Should the carpal tunnel become inflamed, there is less space for the median nerve. As a result, pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness can occur. Most cases are due to years of repetitive motion at jobs or sports. However, genetics, wrist anatomy, certain diseases, and pregnancy can all play a role.

Treating your carpal tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome patients can treat the condition in several ways if detected early. A doctor or orthopedic surgeon can use physical, imaging, and nerve tests to determine the extent of the injury. Most cases respond well to non-surgical treatment. Splinting, pain medication and steroid injections are effective options. These, along with proper rest, can help with recovery.

Can Surgery Help?

For severe cases or if non-invasive surgery fails to bring relief, surgery can help. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is the preferred option for carpal tunnel release surgery. The goal is to give the median nerve space, which will reduce the symptoms. An orthopedic surgeon will use an endoscope, a thin device with a camera and light at the end. The endoscope goes through a small incision. Another small incision allows a surgical tool to cut away parts of the carpal tunnel. After the procedure, the surgeon closes the incisions and bandages the wrist.

The benefits of outpatient surgery

MIS is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient leaves the hospital the same day. This makes surgery very convenient for patients. With MIS, there are smaller scars and less postoperative pain. There is also a reduced risk of infection and up to 90% success rates. Carpal tunnel release may require several weeks of recovery. During this time, rest, pain management, and physical therapy can help with better outcomes. If non-surgical treatment fails or severe carpal tunnel restricts the use of the hands, outpatient surgery is a viable option.

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