Statistics show that over 250,000 Americans have carpal tunnel release procedures each year to correct the painful, sometimes debilitating condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Typically caused by overuse and repetitive motion of the hands and wrists, such as typing on a computer keyboard, it often causes tingling and numbness in the hand and wrist.

The carpal tunnel is a narrow space inside the wrist that is surrounded by bone and ligament. This space allows tendons and the median nerve to pass from the forearm into the hand. When you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the tendon sheaths may thicken or enlarge, and this reduces the amount of space inside the tunnel. This can result in the compression of the median nerve that runs through that same space.

The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel are tingling and numbness. Some people also have pain or may notice a weakened grip.  At first, symptoms may wake you up at night. Later, they may also occur during your daily routines. For instance, you may notice symptoms while you are driving, typing, holding your phone or a book and over time symptoms may become more painful.

A visit to your doctor for an exam can help get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan in place. Usually rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, wrist splints, or cortisone injections can be a first line of defense. If your symptoms are not improving with these conservative treatments or if your symptoms are severe, you may be a candidate for surgery.

Carpal Tunnel surgery is a quick out-patient procedure. The procedure itself usually takes about 15 minutes. The goal of the surgery is to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. To do this, the transverse carpal ligament is released, which creates more space in the tunnel and relieves the pressure on the nerve.

If you’ve had carpal tunnel surgery, you will spend a few hours resting before you go home. The nerve sensation and circulation in your hand will be checked at this time. Symptom relief may be immediate or depending on the severity of the severity of the compression may take a few weeks or months to resolve. Carpal tunnel release is one of the most common hand surgeries performed. It has been rated as one of the most satisfying and successful as well.


Tips to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

Certain repetitive hand activities may put you at higher risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.  By learning how to modify the way you use your hands, you may be able to reduce the risk. Check the tips listed below to keep your hands moving at home and at work.

  • Keep your wrist in a neutral (straight) position when exercising. Avoid using your wrist in a bent,extended, or twisted position for long periods of time.
  • Gripping, grasping, or lifting with the thumb and index finger can put stress on your wrist. When practical, use the whole hand and all the fingers to grasp an object.
  • Minimize Repetition – If possible, avoid repetitive movements or holding an object in the same way for extended periods of time.
  • Rest Your Hands – Periodically give your hands a break by letting them rest briefly. Or you may be able to alternate easy and hard tasks, switch hands, or rotate work activities.
  • Conditioning Exercises – Ask your doctor or hand therapist for exercises that strengthen the hand and arm muscles. They may help by strengthening the muscles that lead to a poor wrist position.

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