Your hands and wrists are complex structures of nerves, tendons, and muscles. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition that affects the nerves and tendons in your wrists and fingers, making movement difficult.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you don’t have to live with the pain. Carpal tunnel surgery effectively relieves pressure in the wrist and heals painful carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 101
The pain, tingling, and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome can be the result of genetics, injury, or overuse. If you have diabetes, thyroid disease, or rheumatoid arthritis, you are more prone to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Regardless of the reason for your carpal tunnel syndrome, you know that the pain can limit your life.
If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can weaken your fingers and reduce coordination, making everyday tasks difficult. With carpal tunnel syndrome, your wrist swells, putting pressure on the median nerve. Symptoms often start small and get worse over time.
If you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, there are a few non-surgical treatments to try before having surgery. These treatments include:
- Wrist splinting
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
- Cortisone shots
At Coastal Empire Orthopedics, our orthopedic surgeon, Jonathan Shults, MD, and his team diagnose your carpal tunnel syndrome and propose treatment methods based on the severity of your condition. If you’ve tried non-surgical carpal tunnel treatments without success, we can help you find relief with carpal tunnel surgery.
How carpal tunnel surgery works
Carpal tunnel surgery is usually an outpatient procedure at Coastal Empire Orthopedics, which means you go home the same day. Our team uses a local anesthetic to numb your hand and wrist so you can’t feel the procedure. Most carpal tunnel surgery procedures are short and take about 10 minutes.
When performing carpal tunnel surgery, Dr. Shults makes a small incision in your wrist. Using surgical instruments, he cuts the carpal ligament and widens the carpal tunnel. After surgery, he closes the incisions and bandages your wrist in a splint to protect it from movement.
By cutting the carpal ligament in your wrist, Dr. Shults releases the pressure on the median nerve. This small cut allows swelling in the area to go down over time, effectively relieving pain, numbness, and restricted movement you might be experiencing with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Find relief with carpal tunnel surgery
For most people, carpal tunnel surgery relieves pain for many years, but it’s important to follow Dr. Shults’ instructions following your carpal tunnel surgery. When you leave our office following surgery, your wrist is in a bandage and splint. It needs to stay splinted for a week or two.
After Dr. Shults removes your wrist splint, you start a physical therapy program. Recovery time varies, but full recovery can take up to a few months. While some pain following surgery is normal, you should tell Dr. Shults if you experience unusual symptoms, fever, or increased pain during recovery.
Throughout recovery, you move your fingers regularly and follow your physical therapy program to rebuild the strength in your wrist. Your carpal tunnel syndrome pain will disappear, and as your wrist heals, you can get back to work and the activities you love.
Carpal tunnel surgery is a long-lasting way to relieve your pain. Call Coastal Empire Orthopedics today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about the carpal tunnel syndrome treatment that’s right for you.