CARPAL TUNNEL DECOMPRESSION

Carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, as it passes through a tunnel into the hand, causing pain, tingling and numbness in the fingers and hand. It can sometimes cause weakness and difficulty holding onto things. The symptoms are often worse at night and on activities where the hand is elevated such as reading, driving or browsing on a smartphone. 

 

The diagnosis is normally made on clinical assessment but sometimes special tests on the nerve known as nerve conduction studies are required.

 

Initial treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome includes trial of splints or NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Steroid injections directly into the carpal tunnel can in some cases settle symptoms. If these treatments have not worked, or the symptoms are more severe, carpal tunnel release surgery is recommended. This operation is usually undertaken usually under local anaesthetic and involves releasing the tight ligament forming the roof of the carpal tunnel, relieving pressure on the nerve.