Do I Need Surgery for My Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness, pain, and tingling in the arm and hand. The condition is relatively common, and it affects the median nerve, which is a major nerve in the hand. When this nerve gets squeezed as it goes past the wrist, it causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Most patients who have the condition experience worsening symptoms over time. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the symptoms. Avoiding certain activities and wearing a splint can relieve early symptoms.
The Carpal Tunnel
A function of the carpal tunnel is to protect the flexor tendons and median nerve that bend the thumb and fingers. The top of the tunnel contains strong connective tissue. The tissue edges are very strong and rigid.
This causes the carpal tunnel to be tight, with little room for stretching or increasing in size. The median nerve traces its origin from nerve roots found in the neck. It moves from the arm down the forearm, passing through the wrist carpal tunnel into the hand.
Risk Factors for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This syndrome can be caused by different factors. Women and older individuals are more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Other risk factors for the condition include repetitive use of the hand and the position of the hand and wrist.
The condition can be hereditary, with the trait running in families. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can also cause this condition. Health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid gland imbalance can also be linked to this condition.
Symptoms of the condition include tingling, numbness, and pain in the thumb and fingers. Patients also experience shock-like sensations radiating through the thumbs and fingers or tingling and pain traveling up the forearm.
Other symptoms are weakness or clumsiness in the hand, making it difficult to perform simple movements. Weakness or numbness causing the person to drop things can be due to the condition. The symptoms often begin without specific injury to the hand or arm.
The syndrome will get worse over time if not treated. There are several treatments for the condition. The extent of the injury will determine the best treatment. After evaluation, the doctor will determine the best treatment based on the symptoms and other factors.
Evaluation will involve a physical examination and other specialized tests. Treatment options include the use of splints or braces, using some medication, nerve exercises, steroid injections, and activity changes.
Do You Need Carpal Tunnel Surgery?
As the condition becomes worse, the pressure on the median nerve increases. If not treated, this can result in worsening symptoms and nerve damage. Surgery is often recommended to prevent permanent damage.
Surgery works by taking pressure off the nerve, and this can be very effective for some patients. If other treatments have failed to work, surgery is the best option to prevent irreversible damage. The severity of the symptoms will help determine whether you need carpal tunnel surgery.
To know more about carpal tunnel, visit Clark Plastic & Hand Surgery at our office in McKinney, Texas. You can call 469-675-3659 to book an appointment.