Carpal tunnel syndrome can make you keenly aware of how much you rely on your hands day in and day out. The pain, numbness, and tingling may go away with treatments like wrist braces and corticosteroids, but they rarely resolve the problem altogether. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome require carpal tunnel release surgery to relieve pressure on their median nerve, which is what provides sensation in the thumb and all fingers except the little finger. The median nerve goes through a structure in the wrist called the carpal tunnel, which is a narrow path of bone and ligament.
When Would My Doctor Suggest Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery?
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be a progressive disorder for some as it weakens the muscles of the hands and wrists and eventually leads to muscle wasting.
Your doctor might suggest surgery if the following describe your situation:
- Conservative, nonsurgical treatments don’t provide sufficient relief: You’ve used braces, had physical/occupational therapy, corticosteroid injections, and modified your daily routine – but it hasn’t helped.
- No relief after 6 months: Your pain, numbness, and tingling persist for 6+ months.
- Difficulty with simple movement: You may find it more challenging to grip, grasp, or pinch objects like you used to be able to do.
What to Expect After Surgery
While most people who have carpal tunnel release surgery get immediate symptom relief and their symptoms don’t return, others may still have sensations of numbness, tingling, or pain from time to time. There are also associated risks to the surgery that your doctor will explain to you. Complete healing takes time. You can expect some pain, swelling, and stiffness after your surgery, but prescribed medication can relieve these symptoms.
You’ll need to undergo physical or occupational therapy to get full movement, strength, function, and feeling back in your hand(s) and wrist(s) after successful carpal tunnel release surgery. Slowly, you’ll be ready to do your normal activities, like driving, writing, pulling, gripping, pinching objects, and more. Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss when you can go back to work and what limitations you will have while you heal.
Contact Comprehensive Spine Institute for Relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Are you suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome? Our orthopedic surgeons can help determine whether carpal tunnel release surgery would be right for you. To get in touch with our team, please call (727) 300-2537 or reach out online today to book an appointment with a caring, knowledgeable orthopedic surgeon.