Carpal tunnel syndrome is a tingling, numbness, or weakness in the hands due to pressure on the Median nerve that is located in the wrist. Whenever you are faced with this challenge, you will be in discomfort after it progresses into the later stages. This is a condition that arises from stress that is applied to the wrists. This may occur as a result of long-term overuse of your hands on daily activities like typing on your computer, operating machines that have vibration, or from diseases.
It even occurs when you are pregnant and the body retains water and causes the carpal tunnel to close up. This tunnel is found right between the arm and the palm. That is where the tendons and the median nerve pass. This nerve is responsible for the feeling and motion in your arm and palm. If the nerve fails to work, you will feel tingling, numbness, and eventually pain at the wrist which is difficult to deal with.
In this article, you will find some of the signs and symptoms that can indicate the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. You will also find the different surgeries that are performed to solve the issue.
What to Watch out for
The symptoms of this condition are pretty easy to detect. Generally, it starts with a tingling and numbness which affects the thumb and three fingers. The little finger is usually not affected.
Whenever you wake up, you will feel the need to shake your hand just to get the feeling back into it. Eventually, shaking your hand will no longer work. Then, there will be the pain that shoots from the wrist upwards.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is likely that you have carpal tunnel syndrome and may require surgery. Some of the surgeries that can be performed to treat this condition are listed below.
There are two main forms of carpal tunnel surgery; Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, and open carpal tunnel surgery. Both surgeries have the same goal. However, the way in which they are performed is different.
1. Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery
This form of carpal tunnel surgery doesn’t require any cuts to be made on the hands. Instead, invasive techniques are used to minimize scarring and incision size. An endoscope, which is a small tube that is equipped with a camera, is directed into the incision site made at the wrist.
Using the endoscope, they can view the tissues around the wrist and transverse the carpal ligament. This ligament will be severed by a cutting tool which is sometimes attached to the camera itself. This is a very simple and efficient method of surgery. The equipment that is used in this surgery is very small and will leave barely any scarring once the operation is complete.
You can also go home as soon as you are patched up and the anesthesia wears off.
2. Open Carpal Tunnel Surgery
This form of carpal tunnel surgery will require the hand to be cut open. Though the concept of open carpal tunnel surgery can sound scary, it is really nothing to be afraid of. There will be a small incision made at the base of the palm where the carpal tunnel is located. This will allow the surgeon a clear view of the carpal tunnel ligament. The carpal ligament is then severed and removed. The incision is then closed up with stitches.
This type of surgery will take a bit longer to heal as compared to the endoscopic type. This is because of the incision size. However, you will not be required to stay at the hospital once the surgery is complete and you have awoken from the anesthesia. You will be allowed to leave the hospital the same day as the procedure.
The Reasons Why You Will Need Surgery
The following are some of the reasons you will need surgery. These include:
1. Prevention of Worsening
The best way to deal with carpal tunnel syndrome is by having it treated before the symptoms become discomforting and unbearable. It is best not to wait until the symptoms become severe before you seek treatment for the condition.
If the carpal tunnel syndrome worsens, the patient will have a more difficult time during the recovery period. Also, the affected area will be damaged beyond total repair.
2. The Long Term Effects
If you let this condition progress to a level where you can no longer control movement, the long-term effect will be debilitating. You depend on your hands to accomplish many tasks in life. If you are not careful, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to almost crippling results.
3. It Could Be Anything
Though rare, it is possible that a tumor or cyst could be mimicking carpal tunnel syndrome. If there is a tumor or cyst present in the hand, it may be pressing against the median nerve. Thus, mimicking the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. This is why it is so important to consult a doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tumors and cysts grow, and this growth will only cause more suffering and worsening of symptoms for the patient until he/she receives proper treatment.
When you leave the condition untreated and able to progress further, you will have problems in recovery. The arm will lack strength and the thumb will be weaker than ever. Thus, if you have the opportunity to save your hand before the carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, it is recommended that you do so as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is very important to consult a doctor about what you are experiencing. If carpal tunnel syndrome is present, then surgery will likely be required to relieve symptoms. With a good surgeon, the surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is incredibly safe and nothing to be concerned about.
If left untreated, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome will only worsen. If the condition has been left to progress for too long before the patient decides to undergo surgery; the surgery may not fully improve the condition. This is why it is essential to have carpal tunnel syndrome treated as early as possible. The earlier that the condition is treated, the greater chance for a successful recovery.