Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can affect both the hand and wrist. It arises when the median nerve, located in the wrist, becomes compressed. This nerve transports signals for sensation and muscle movement. When it is compressed, its function becomes impaired. The syndrome is linked with jobs that require extensive hand use.
The factors tied to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome include medical, workplace, inflammatory, nerve, and other alterations in the balance of the body’s fluids. A combination of these factors may be relevant when evaluating the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome. Medical conditions that may increase the chances of developing the condition include obesity, kidney failure, menopause, thyroid disorders, and more.
When the tissues and tendons in the carpal tunnel swell, the area within the tunnel becomes smaller. This can occur in association with other conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes. The increase in pressure within the tunnel compresses the median nerve. The pressure disrupts the functioning of the nerve and results in the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include pain, numb feeling, and tingling. The numbness and tingling mostly affects the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger. The pain is compared to an ache or burning sensation. The pain may eventually spread towards the arms, causing difficulty holding or grasping objects.
Once non-surgical treatment options have been exhausted without success, surgical solutions will be considered. Dr. Heller performs outpatient surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at his Lancaster, Valencia, and Long Beach offices. Open release surgery involves creating a small 1-inch incision along the palm and accessing the transverse carpal ligament. An incision is made on the ligament to open the tunnel and expand it. This eliminates the pressure on the median nerve.
Additional surgical options include endoscopic tunnel release. Which uses a cannula to make an incision in the transverse carpal ligament and makes the tunnel larger, relieving pressure on the median nerve.