Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

By: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

Carpel tunnel syndrome is a condition that involves a pinched nerve at the wrist, the median nerve. Symptoms would include numbness, tingling and pain usually in thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. A lot of times the symptoms are worse at night and are really pretty debilitating. They're a candidate for surgery if they have failed conservative management, starting with splinting or injections. Carpal tunnel surgery, it's another common misperception that it's due to sitting at a keyboard.

It has not been proven that sitting at a keyboard causes carpal tunnel syndrome. The groups of people who are at risk are people who have medical conditions such as diabetes or hypothyroidism. One occupation that has been proven to lead to carpal tunnel syndrome is people who work with vibratory tools like people who work with plow drivers or who have repetitive fluxion of their wrists. Those jobs have been proven to cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

But most people with carpal tunnel syndrome, the the only risk factor they have is maybe a relative that has it so it's there is a genetic component to it. One common misperception that we see a lot of is for carpal tunnel surgery, I don't know where patients hear of, their neighbor or their relative who had carpal tunnel surgery years ago and they have a huge incision in their palm. We really specialize in minimally invasive surgery here at Ohio State. The way we do the carpal tunnel surgery now is endoscopic carpal tunnel.

It's minimally invasive with a quick recovery and probably the best outcomes of any procedure in orthopedics. So there's a common misperception that carpal tunnel surgery is not effective. It's probably the most effective surgery that we have. Recovery after carpal tunnel surgery is remarkably fast. Right after the surgery the patient can really use their hand to their tolerance.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

We don't have any restrictions; we're not waiting for anything to heal so we allow the patients to use their hand as tolerable. It takes some time for to strengthen or to improve and for the soreness to go away, but it's a very quick recovery.

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