Plastic Surgery Blog
San francisco - East bay
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the single, most common nerve condition diagnosed in the world, and it affects between 4 and 10 million American’s at any one time. The severity of the condition can vary, and while not all patients require surgical intervention, many find that it is the only option for reducing their symptoms and returning full function to their hand.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Fluctuations in hand strength, in particular, weakness in the thumb.
- A range of strange sensations in the hand and wrist. This can include numbness and prickles.
- Your hand may also feel particularly warm or cold to you, but when touched, the skin feels a normal temperature.
- A persistent dull ache, or periods of acute pain in the hand, wrist or arm.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which is the main peripheral nerve that serves the hands. This pressure disrupts the transmission of messages between the brain and body, preventing you from being able to use your hand properly or consistently. It also effects the sensations that you can feel in your hand and wrist.
In order to treat the condition, it is necessary to relieve pressure on the median nerve, which requires surgical intervention.
Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome
To successfully treat carpal tunnel syndrome, it is necessary to cut the transverse carpal tunnel ligament, which is located in the wrist.
Although it is still possible to have conventional, open surgery to alleviate the pressure on the median nerve, advances in surgical practises mean that it is now possible to treat the condition using minimally invasive techniques.
This is hugely beneficial as it decreases the risk of complications both during and after the surgery, requires a shorter healing time and causes minimal scarring.
Minimally-invasive carpal tunnel surgery
Minimally-invasive carpal tunnel surgery is performed using an endoscope, which is inserted into the wrist through a small, keyhole-sized incision. The endoscope has a light and magnifying lens at the end of it, to allow our surgeons to have a clear view of the structure inside the wrist without needing to make a large incision to ‘open it up’.
We are then able to use much smaller tools which can perform the necessary cut on the transverse carpal tunnel ligament with greater precision and accuracy. Once the surgery is complete, the small entry wound can be closed with sutures and covered with a dressing.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and would like to know more about your treatment options, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Our friendly, experienced and knowledgeable team will be happy to hear from you.