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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common hand problem resulting from pressure on the median nerve at the wrist.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which often get worse at night, include numbness and/or pain in the wrist and fingers. Eventually, carpal tunnel may lead to loss of strength, fine motor control and sensation.

Early treatment consists of splinting and anti-inflammatory medication. Exact causes are not known; however, certain factors increase the risk of developing the condition, including congenital abnormalities, repetitive motion of hand and wrists, fractures and sprains, hormonal imbalance, and many other medical conditions.

Treatment can include using conservative approaches or surgery. Conservative treatments include:

  • Treating underlying medical conditions
  • Immobilization of the hand and wrist with a splint or wrist brace for 4-6 weeks
  • Resting the hand for 2 or more weeks
  • Ice packs, to avoid swelling
  • Avoiding activities that tend to worsen the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
  • Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, and steroid injections
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises, once carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms diminish

If symptoms do not improve and conservative treatment options fail, your hand surgeon may recommend a surgical procedure to release the pressure.

Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery Eau Claire

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with release surgery by Dr. Berschback, who has locations in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, and Ladysmith.

Traditional surgery involves up to a 2- inch incision in the palm and wrist area, whereas endoscopic surgery involves one or two 1/2″ incisions and the use of an endoscope. During the surgery, the transverse carpal ligament will be dissected to release the pressure on the median nerve and enlarge the carpal tunnel. Your hand surgeon will decide which options are best for you based on your general and medical conditions.

Your surgeon may suggest certain post-operative procedures for better recovery and to avoid further complications.

  • Elevate the hand above heart level to reduce swelling
  • A splint may be worn
  • Ice packs to the surgical area to reduce swelling
  • Keep the surgical incision clean and dry (cover the area with plastic wrap when bathing or showering)
  • Physical therapy may be ordered to restore wrist strength
  • Eating a healthy diet and not smoking will promote healing

The majority of patients suffer no complications following surgery. However some patients may suffer from pain, infections, scarring, and nerve damage causing weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation and stiffness in the hand and wrist area.

If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and need treatment or surgery, contact us or call (800) 322-1747. Dr. Berschback is located in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Rice Lake, and Ladysmith.

Carpal Tunnel Release FAQs Post-Op Instructions