Mr Omar Tillo
Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed by the carpal tunnel inside the wrist. This can occur to people of both genders and of any age. However, those at risk include people who:
If you developed carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of pregnancy, you may notice symptoms go away once you have given birth.
Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome describe feeling a tingling sensation, particularly in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. You may also experience difficulty gripping objects. Carpal tunnel symptoms may continue to get worse over time. If no treatment is sought, it can result in nerve damage.
You may need to have nerve tests, blood tests and x-rays to confirm you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Prior to considering undergoing surgery, you may wish to try non-surgical options to see if it helps alleviate your symptoms. You may wish to wear a wrist splint, particularly at night. You may have to wear the splint for at least four weeks before noticing any difference. You may also wish to try steroid injections. It is also recommended that you try and avoid the activities which cause your carpal tunnel syndrome.
If these non-surgical options do not work, you may wish to undergo carpal tunnel surgery.
You may be suitable for carpal tunnel surgery if you have:
Prior to undergoing any surgical procedure, you will be required to attend a consultation with one of our surgeons. They will be able to assess whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
Carpal tunnel surgery is performed as a day case. This means you will be able to return home the same day as your procedure.
Prior to the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic. This means you will be awake for the procedure but will be unable to feel any pain or discomfort.
Open carpal tunnel surgery involves making an incision from the wrist into the palm. This gives the surgeons access to the nerves in the wrist. The carpal tunnel within the wrist is then cut, so it no longer puts pressure on the nerve. The incision is then pulled shut and closed with stitches.
The procedure takes about 20 minutes to perform.
Following carpal tunnel surgery, it is normal to experience some pain and discomfort. You may wish to take medication to help with any symptoms.
After surgery, your hand will be bandaged. This will have to stay on for one to two weeks.
For the first two weeks following the procedure, it is important to use your hand lightly. However, your surgeon may give you some exercises to do to avoid the hands and fingers going stiff.
You will have to avoid driving for the first few days following surgery.
You will be able to undertake tasks such as writing after a week, but it may take four to six weeks for it to feel easier.
It may take up to 10 to 12 weeks to regain the full strength in your wrist and hands.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist becomes enlarged as a result of being pinched by the carpal tunnel.
This can often cause tingling, numbness or aching in the hands and fingers. You may also experience problems with gripping items.
Wearing a wrist splint may help to reduce your carpal tunnel syndromes. You will usually have to wear the wrist splint for at least four weeks to notice any difference in symptoms.
You may also wish to try steroid injections.
It is recommended that you try and avoid undertaking the activities which cause your carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel surgery is performed under a local anaesthetic, so you will not need to be asleep for the procedure.
An incision will be made from your wrist into the palm of the hand, giving the surgeon access to the nerves. The carpal tunnel will then be cut, meaning it will not be placing any pressure on the nerves. The skin will then be pulled over the incision and stitched shut.
You will be able to return home on the same day as your procedure.
You may experience some minor pain and discomfort in the first few days after your procedure. You may wish to take pain medication to help with any symptoms.
You will have a bandage on your wrist which you will need to wear for one to two weeks.
You will have to take care of your wrist for two weeks and make sure to avoid any strenuous activities. However, you will still need to lightly move your hands and fingers to avoid any stiffness occurring.
It may take 10 to 12 weeks for you to regain strength back in your wrist.
You should avoid driving for at least one week.