If you feel a burning, tingling, or itching numbness in the palm of your hand and thumb, or index and middle fingers you may have a carpal tunnel syndrome. The solution? A carpal tunnel release procedure that can change the way your hand feels.
You might first notice that your fingers “fall asleep” and become numb at night. That usually happens in the evening because of the relaxed position of your hand and while sleeping.
In the morning, you may wake up with numbness and tingling in your hands that may run all the way to your shoulder. In time, the symptoms can become far more serious, and the best way is to move forward with a carpal tunnel release procedure.
What causes Carpal Tunnel?
It is caused by pressure on the main nerve of your hand, which runs through the length of the arm, goes through a passage in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, and ends in the fingers. This nerve controls the movement and feeling of your thumb, and also the movement of all your fingers except your baby finger.
Often, people don’t know what brought on their carpal tunnel. But it can happen due to:
- Repetitive motions, like typing or any motions of the wrist that you do over and over. This is especially true of actions when your hands are lower than your wrist.
- It is commoner in conditions such as diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis hypothyroidism and pregnancy.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome and don’t get it treated, its symptoms can last a long time, get worse, and can even go away and return causing irreversible nerve damage. Carpal tunnel release is the single best way to resolve your pain.
When Carpal Tunnel Gets Serious
If you have tried a short period of immobilisation and anti-inflammatories and possibly a steroid injection and still have symptoms it is time to see your hand surgeon who will go through the carpal tunnel release procedure with you.
What Happens During Carpal Tunnel Release?
In general carpal tunnel release is done in local anaesthetic, as a day case. You are encouraged to use your hand immediately after the procedure but to avoid heavy lifting or putting excess pressure on the wound. Symptom relief is immediate to some extent with full recovery of the nerve expected over a few months (the nerve recovers by 1mm a day).
A Step By Step Guide
During carpal tunnel release, the doctor will inject a local anaesthetic at the wrist and hand. Once the area is numb a small cut will be made in the base of the palm of your hand, about 1cm-1.5cm long. Through this cut the doctor will open the carpal tunnel releasing the compression on the nerve. During the procedure a blood pressure cuff will be inflated on the upper arm to reduce blood flow to the operating field. The procedure takes on average 15 minutes. Once the cut has been sutured and dressing applied your doctor will go through the aftercare with you and arrange the follow up appointments.
The Right Choice
If you believe carpal tunnel release is the right option for you, please contact us today to learn more about the procedure and to set up a consultation session.