Carpal tunnel is quite a common condition that a large number of people deal with. Considering the unpleasant symptoms of this syndrome, such as pain, tingling or numbness in your hand, looking for a solution is certainly recommended. Specialists have come up with a surgery that is said to fix the unpleasant symptoms revolving around this condition. Carpel tunnel release surgery has provided amazing results for the majority of patients.
There are numerous reasons to consider undergoing surgery for carpal tunnel. These include:
- Decreasing or combating pain
- Wrist strength restoration
- Improving the quality of life
- Overcoming numbness and tingling sensation in the hand
- Restoring life balance and improving work capabilities
Can I have carpal tunnel surgery?
Knowing whether or not you are suitable to undergo this type of surgical procedure is an important step in the process. While there are people who require surgery due to the severity of the condition, mild symptoms can be combated with non-invasive treatment alternatives. So when you should you consider surgery as a viable option?
- Symptoms have been a been affecting you for more than six months
- You have tried other forms of treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or a splint without results
To undergo any surgical procedures, you will need to be in good physical health.
What does carpal tunnel surgery involve?
Before any surgery, you will have a consultation with a surgeon. The surgeon will establish what type of treatment you need, whether this is surgical, minimally invasive or even less complex options. This will also give you a better understanding of what any surgical options involve, any potential risks, and gives you an opportunity to have any questions answered.
Carpel tunnel release surgery is generally a day-case procedure, which means you can return home the same day – there’s no need to stay in the hospital overnight.
At the start of the procedure, you will receive a local anaesthetic, to ensure you feel minimum pain and discomfort. A tourniquet will be placed around the top of your arm and will be inflated to stop blood flow to your hand.
Next, the surgeon makes a small incision near the base of your hand. The surgeon is then able to divide the carpal ligaments to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Stitches are then used to close the incision. The procedure is relatively quick and takes about 20 minutes to complete.
What is the recovery period like?
Over the next few days after the carpal tunnel procedure, you may feel some slight discomfort and pain, which is completely normal. Surgeons will be able to recommend the right pain medication for you to take during this period.
Surgeons recommend for you to start moving your fingers and use your hand for light tasks, such as holding a glass. Over the following few days, you can increase the effort of these tasks, completing things like brushing your teeth. You will need to avoid gripping your hand too hard, otherwise, you will experience unnecessary pain. Your hand function and grip should return to normal anywhere in between six to twelve weeks.
The stitches will be removed after 10 to 14 days. You will have a small scar on the surgical area. You can apply moisturiser to this area in order to minimise scarring. You will notice the scar will begin to fade after a few months.
Are there any potential side effects?
Being a form of treatment that requires a more invasive approach, which includes going under anaesthetic, there are a few potential side effects, including:
- Discomfort or pain along the cut on your hand
- Weaker grip
- Temporary swelling
All of these side effects can occur, but do not involve a higher level of pain such as the one your carpal tunnel syndrome is causing you at the moment.