Carpal tunnel & other nerve decompression
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions we treat as hand surgeons. The symptoms of pain and tingling or numbness in the hand and fingers can be very unpleasant. It often occurs during the night but can be a problem during the day whilst driving or using the telephone for example.
We will see you in clinic to assess for the presence of carpal tunnel syndrome and to rule out other possible causes for your symptoms. In some circumstances nerve conduction tests or scans will be required and we can organise these. We will discuss the pros and cons of surgery and the recovery time.
Treatments include splinting and steroid injections but for some patients a small operation to decompress the nerve will be required. This is usually done awake under local anaesthetic and takes approximately ten minutes.
The small scar on your palm/wrist will be sutured with dissolvable sutures and a bandage applied. We will usually see you at one week following the surgery to check the wound healing. We will then see you back in the clinic when things have had time to settle to check that your symptoms have resolved.
Other nerves may suffer compression and can give similar symptoms in the hand. One of the commoner examples is the ulnar nerve at the elbow (cubital tunnel syndrome). This may also be amenable to surgical decompression although that procedure requires an anaesthetic block to numb the whole arm. You would still go home on the same day and follow up is the same as that for carpal tunnel decompression.