Carpal tunnel syndrome is a neural problem in the arm that gives you a tingling, painful, or numb sensation. Frequent occurrences of these sensations can be a sign that you may have this issue. A carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure that opens up the carpal tunnel to give the nerves more space, thereby reducing these abnormal sensations.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a passage in the wrist through which the nerves and tendons of the fingers pass on their way to the brain. This passage does not expand because it is surrounded by carpal bones on all sides except one, where it is covered by thick bands of carpal ligaments.
If a swelling or overgrowth takes place in this cramped space, the nerves and tendons passing through the passage get compressed, because there is simply no space for the nerves to move anywhere else. As a result, the neural communication between the brain and these nerves is hampered, resulting in a series of symptoms that together constitute carpal tunnel syndrome.
How Do People Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are many reasons why carpal tunnel syndrome can occur. Often, it’s because of the overuse of the wrist. Activities that involve a lot of wrist movements or holding the wrist in stressful positions for long periods of time are seen to be common culprits.
Other causes include arthritis, where inflammation in the joints may exert a pressure on the carpal passage. Heredity and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy have also been found to cause this problem.
What Happens in a Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?
The basic aim of a carpal tunnel release is to make space for the passing nerves by removing obstructions. The surgeon creates an incision in the skin of the wrist for access to the carpal tissues. The surgeon then eases these tissues, either by cutting through them or by removing what must be removed, to make space for free passage of the nerves.
When Should a Carpal Tunnel Release Be Considered?
It’s often difficult for a person to decide on whether or not they’re in need of a carpal tunnel release, especially because the symptoms don’t seem to be serious enough at first to be addressed by medical professionals.
The following are some of the signs that you will need a carpal tunnel release:
• You constantly feel tingling sensations running the length of your arm.
• There is a constant feeling of sudden shooting pain or burning down your arm.
• Your fingers and thumb feel sudden occasional bursts of pain or numbness.
• You experience a sudden loss of grip or sensation in your arm. You may even find yourself frequently dropping things due to loss of control in your hand.
• Routine tasks involving fingers become tiresome and difficult.
• No medication has worked to improve these symptoms.
• You have made behavioral changes to areas that you or your physician may have suspected of causing these problems.
• Therapies, exercises, posture corrections, and other such treatments don’t help in stopping the symptoms.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Office
Find out whether carpal tunnel release is right for you – contact our office and set up a consultation with experienced board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Conrad Tirre.