Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist. The median nerve runs from your forearm through the carpal tunnel and into your hand. It controls the sensations you feel on the palm side of your thumb and fingers, except the little finger. Carpal tunnel syndrome often causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. Surgery to treat it involves relieving pressure on the median nerve by cutting the ligament that crosses over it.
Some of the most frequent conditions linked with carpal tunnel syndrome are:
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be made worse if the wrist is overextended repeatedly. Repeated motion of your wrist contributes to swelling and compression of the median nerve. This may be the result of:
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Research shows that symptoms improve for more than 90% of patients following carpal tunnel surgery. However, the number who experience complete relief of symptoms after surgery may be only 50%. Patients whose symptoms are severe before surgery show the most improvement afterward, but this group also tends to have the most residual symptoms after the procedure.At three months following carpal tunnel surgery, your numbness and pain still could be byproducts of the procedure. Many people find the incision causes pain and irritation as it heals. In addition, a condition called ‘pillar pain,’ which is a localized reaction to the surgery, can lead to discomfort. Both generally improve over several months.
Working with a hand therapist can be particularly useful during this uncomfortable period of recovery. The therapist can follow your progress by measuring the strength and sensation in your fingers, hand and arm, as well as provide advice about how to make your hand and arm more comfortable.It’s helpful to note, too, that nerves typically improve after surgery at a rate of about 1 inch per month. When sensation returns, it happens gradually. In general, full recovery after carpal tunnel syndrome may take up to a year.Whether your pain and numbness are part of the healing process or whether they signal the need for more intervention depends somewhat on how your current symptoms compare to the symptoms you had before surgery. For example, you mention that two of your fingers are completely numb. If the numbness is significantly worse than it was before surgery, or if it’s affecting different parts of your hand, then closer assessment is appropriate at this time.
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Ignoring symptoms of this carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage. First, you may notice tingling or numbness in your fingers that comes and goes. Over time, the sensations may get worse, lasting longer or even waking you up at night. Treatment can relieve pressure on the nerve and, for most people, eliminate their symptoms. The carpal tunnel is a small passageway on the palm side of your wrist.
It can be due to: Repetitive motions, like typing, or any wrist movements that you do over and over. This is especially true of things you do when your hands are lower than your wrists. Conditions like hypothyroidism, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabete.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand.
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Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are no proven strategies to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome, but you can minimize stress on your hands and wrists with these methods:
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