What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
It is a condition that occurs following an increased pressure on the Median nerve at the wrist. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers.
There is a narrow space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when pressure increases from swelling in this tunnel and puts pressure on the nerve. When the pressure from the swelling becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the hand and fingers.
Usually the cause is unknown. Pressure on the nerve can happen several ways: swelling of the lining of the flexor tendons, called tenosynovitis; joint dislocations, fractures, and arthritis can narrow the tunnel; and keeping the wrist bent for long periods of time. Fluid retention during pregnancy can cause swelling in the tunnel and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which often go away after delivery. Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes also can be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. There may be a combination of causes.
Signs and symptoms:
Pain, numbness, tingling, or a combination of the three.
The numbness or tingling most often takes place in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. The symptoms usually are felt during the night but also may be noticed during daily activities such as driving or reading a newspaper.
Patients sometimes notice they have a weaker grip, clumsiness, and may drop things.
In severe cases, sensation may be permanently lost and the muscles at the base of the thumb slowly shrink (thenar atrophy).
How carpal tunnel syndrome is Diagnosed?
A detailed history including medical conditions and whether there were any prior injuries is important. An X-ray may be taken to check for other causes of the complaints such as arthritis or a fracture. In some cases, laboratory tests may be done if there is a suspected medical condition that is associated with CTS. An NCV or nerve conduction study and EMG or electromyogram may be done to check for other sites of nerve problems as well as to evaluate the carpal tunnel.
Non-surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome
Symptoms can occasionally be relieved without surgery. Identifying and treating medical conditions, changing the patterns of hand use, or keeping the wrist splinted in a straight position may help reduce pressure on the nerve. Wearing wrist splints at night may relieve the symptoms that interfere with sleep. Anti-inflammatory medication taken by mouth or injected into the carpal tunnel may help relieve the carpal tunnel symptoms.
Why surgery is sometimes necessary for carpal tunnel syndrome
When symptoms are severe or do not improve, surgery may be needed to make more room for the nerve. Pressure on the nerve is decreased by cutting the ligament which forms the roof (top) of the tunnel on the palm side of the hand. Incisions for this surgery may vary, but the goal is the same — to enlarge the tunnel and decrease pressure on the nerve.
Following surgery, soreness around the incision may last for several weeks. The numbness and tingling may disappear quickly or slowly. It may take several months for strength in the hand and wrist to return to normal.
Summary of Carpal Tunnel Surgery:
Duration of Surgery: 20 mins-40 mins
Duration of Hospital Stay: 0-1 Days
Need of follow-up: Yes. Usually once or twice
Suture Removal: No (Absorbable Sutures)
Average Cost: Rs.25,000
For appointments call
Dr Sreekar Harinatha at 09902223733 or email at email@example.com
Cosmetic Surgery Website http://www.bangalorecosmetic.com