Background on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve problem. It is one of the compression neuropathies. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve at the level of the wrist. The term carpal tunnel refers to a narrow area near the wrist through which a number of tendons and the median nerve pass. Due to pressure build up which may happen from a variety of causes, the blood flow in the median nerve may be restricted. This results in a characteristic pattern of numbness and tingling in the fingers and often pain. Patients often report the pain or numbness wakes them from sleep.
Once the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is made we most often employ the use of splints, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections in an effort to resolve the signs and symptoms without an operation.
If operative decompression of the nerve is required, an incision in the palm will be required to release soft tissue that is compressing the nerve.
Taking the time to heal
While recovery time varies, many patients may return to light duty with the operated hand within a few days. Unrestricted work activities usually resume at four to six weeks.