Carpal tunnel syndrome
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Carpal tunnel syndrome

Symptoms

Pain at the base of the fingers, sensitivity to pressure. The thickening of the tendon sheath can be felt in this area. The middle joint of the long fingers and the last joint of the thumb are blocked.

Treatment

The aim of the treatment is to stop the blocking and cracking and to make the fingers able to move freely. We need to stop the inflammation and thickening around the tendons to make them slide easily in the sheath. Rest, fasteners and antiphlogistics are recommended. Resting the hand and avoiding repetitive movements are part of the treatment.
If the non-surgical techniques do not reduce symptoms then surgery is recommended. It is usually performed in one day or ambulatory surgery. Anaesthesia can be local, general or regional (on the upper arm). In a few cases, sensitivity, pain, and swelling can remain after the surgery . This varies per person. Active movement of the hand can be started right after surgery. Using the hand for everyday activities is possible after the pain goes away. Until the stitches are removed, water should not touch the scar ; the bandage should not be soaked.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) – the most common tunnel syndrome of the wrist

What is this?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an entrapment of a nerve in the area of the wrist. On the wrist there is an area, the so called carpalis tunnel, where the median nerve and nine tendons run from the lower arm to the hand. Carpalis syndrome occurs when pressure rises in the canal due to an inflammation or tightening procedure and this exerts pressure on the nerve. If the pressure reaches the level when it affects the operation of the nerve, numbness or pain may occur in the hand and fingers. In more serious cases, the muscles in the base of the thumb may become weaker or emaciated.

Treatment

Spontaneous improvement occurs sometimes even without surgery. Resting the hand, or night-splinting can reduce the swelling in the canal, leaving more space for the nerve. Taking antiphlogistic medication or injecting them into the carpalis tunnel can also reduce swelling. In more serious cases, the tunnel must be freed by surgery. We pressure on the nerve by cutting the carpal ligament. The size of the incision of the skin may vary but the aim is the same: to free and enlarge tunnel and reduce the pressure on the nerve. As a complimentary procedure to the surgery the inflamed tissues around the tendons are also removed. The scar left by the surgery may be sensitive for a few weeks, maybe months. How fast the numbness and pain goes away varies from person to person. Squeezing strength and the normal working of the hand return in a few months.