Posted on 18 Sep 2023

Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect the way you work and how you perform your everyday activities. And while there are plenty of non-surgical options, if those don’t work, surgery may be necessary to finally give you some relief.

But before we talk about treatments, let’s discuss what carpal tunnel syndrome is and what causes it to occur.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a medical condition that causes pain, numbness, and stiffness in the hands. The condition occurs when the median nerve in the wrist and hand is compressed or pinched or when excessive pressure is put on it.

The area where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel and while it’s usually a narrow passage, any swelling can make it even smaller and cause pressure and pinching on the nerve.

Since the nerve travels from the forearm through the hand, when it’s pinched, it can affect how the hand works and can create quite a bit of pain in the wrist and hand area.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by a variety of different things. Some of the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can cause swelling and pressure in the wrist
  • Any repetitive hand/wrist movement
  • Fluid build-up in and around the wrist during pregnancy
  • Joint dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Swelling in the lining of the flexor tendons that leads to pressure put on the median nerve

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

While pain is the most well-known symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s certainly not the only one. Some of the other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include tingling, numbness, weakness in the hands, a tendency to drop things, issues with fine finger movements and coordination, and difficulty carrying bags.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

When the symptoms of carpal tunnel become too much and wearing a wrist sprint, having steroid injections, and changing your hand use are no longer working, carpal tunnel surgery is an option.

Carpal tunnel surgery is an outpatient procedure and there are two types of surgery that can be done to reduce the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. You can either have endoscopic carpal release surgery or open-release carpal tunnel surgery.

The endoscopic procedure involves putting a small camera into the area so your surgeon can see what’s going on inside the wrist. The transverse carpal ligament is cut to release the pressure on the median nerve. The recovery time is much faster with this method.

With open-release carpal tunnel surgery, an incision is made to open the palm and wrist area so the surgeon can perform the procedure. It requires a much longer recovery time as the incision is longer than with the endoscopic procedure.

Both methods are very effective. It simply depends on your specific symptoms and how much time you have for recovery.

Schedule A Consultation

If you’re struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome and nothing has worked to relieve your symptoms, it may be time for carpal tunnel surgery. Scheduling a consultation at Neaman Hand Surgery with Dr. Christiansen, or Dr. Tsai is a great first step. We serve the Salem and Portland, OR areas and are more than happy to help you feel relief from your symptoms.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Salem, OR office at 844-338-5445 or fill out our contact form.

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