Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by compression or irritation of the median nerve, which normally controls the movement and feeling of the thumb and fingers. This nerve is restricted within a bony tunnel and a ligament runs along the top of it, making it unable to expand very far when swelling occurs. Nerve function is affected by pressure and muscle in the thumbs begins to waste, causing tingling, clumsiness, weakness, and even pain in the hands and thumbs.

This condition varies in severity and can be treated in a number of ways, including rest, wrist splints or injections. However, once a nerve has been significantly compressed, symptoms may be severe enough that surgery is required.

In surgery, local anaesthetic is used and the procedure itself takes only 15-20 minutes and involves cutting of the ligament over the tunnel to relieve pressure. A dressing is also applied in order to prevent infection and speed recovery. Most patients can resume activities like typing within a week and will notice an improvement in symptoms immediately.

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