Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a nerve entrapment disorder involving the wrist and hand. Causing uncomfortable and motion-limiting symptoms, CTS can respond to changes in ergonomics and physical therapy. However, severe cases need surgery. Here’s more on CTS, how it’s evaluated, and what types of carpal tunnel release surgery are available in Clinton Township, MI.
Why Do I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
People who suffer with this hand and wrist problem usually fall between the ages of 30 and 60. They may work at jobs that require repetitive motions of the hands–such as an office desk job or carpentry.
Additionally, some sufferers have rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, which increases the risk of developing CTS. Finally, gender seems to play a role in the development of CTS, as more women have this orthopedic condition than men.
What Are The Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of CTS develop because the tissues in the wrist swell, putting undue pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the inner tunnel of the wrist and into the palm of the hand.
- Burning pain and tingling in the thumb, index, and middle finger of the affected hand
- Poor grasp and grip strength
- Numbness in the hand and forearm
Typically, CTS symptoms worsen at night or when an individual overuses the hand and wrist, such as at work or while doing chores around the house that require frequent or repetitive hand movements.
Do I Need Surgery to Fix This Condition?
The answer is maybe. Much depends on the results of your orthopedic surgeon’s examination of your hand and wrist. Most likely, your doctor will advise you to try non-surgical treatments first to see if they bring you relief. For instance, your doctor may advise you to wear a wrist splint while you sleep to keep your hand and wrist straight. Additionally, they may ask you to use over-the-counter ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation in the affected wrist. In-office injections of corticosteroids provide good pain relief that lasts for a few months at a time.
Finally, physical therapy, in the form of stretching and strengthening exercises, can help mild to moderate cases of CTS. In fact, your therapist is an excellent resource in the progress you make with your symptoms and overall function. They can also help determine if your CTS is persisting or worsening to the point where conservative measures are no longer the best options. In such a situation, surgery will benefit you best.
Types of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
- Relief of pressure on the median nerve
- Immediate and long-lasting relief of pain, numbness, and tingling
- Better hand grasp and overall strength and function
In addition, both surgeries are accomplished with benefit of local anesthesia and sedation, as needed. With the open method, the hand surgeon creates a two- to three-inch incision in the palm to access and create a notch in the transverse carpal ligament.
With endoscopic surgery, the doctor uses a small lighted scope to create a half-inch incision in the wrist at the base of the hand. They insert the slim instrument through the incision and, as with the open technique, makes a pressure-relieving notch in the transverse carpal ligament. This surgery is quicker than the open method and provides an excellent outcome with few stitches and little to no discomfort afterward.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery at Movement Orthopedics
In Clinton Township, MI, our board-certified hand, wrist, and elbow specialist is Dr. Troy Keoni Williams. He can diagnose your CTS accurately with state-of-the-art testing and the benefit of his extensive expertise. Together, you can determine what treatment plan will give you optimal and painless function of your hand and wrist.