Carpal Tunnel Release
Numbness and tingling in your hand can be caused by many different things. One of these most common causes is carpal tunnel syndrome, where there is a pinched nerve (the median nerve) in your wrist. It can also cause hand weakness and a burning sensation. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by pregnancy, certain health conditions (such as diabetes or thyroid disease), abnormal hand anatomy, and possibly different patterns of hand use.
Anatomy of the Carpal Tunnel
The carpal tunnel is the space in the wrist that has hand bones at the floor and a thick ligament at the surface. This ligament is called the transverse carpal ligament. Normally, several structures pass through this tunnel including the median nerve and tendons which help in fingers bend.
Compression or inflammation of the median nerve causes numbness, tingling and possibly hand weakness, which are classic signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. Patients may say these symptoms are worst at night and that they have numbness in their thumb, index finger and middle finger. Some patients have tried to shake their hand(s) to make them feel better. It may be difficult to pinch or button their buttons. Fortunately, carpal tunnel release can help many of these patients improve their symptoms and prevent further nerve damage.
Your Consultation with Dr. Wong
When you meet with Dr. Wong for a consultation, she will review your history and symptoms with you. Your hands will be examined and in some patients, possibly tested with X-rays and/or nerve conduction and muscle stimulation studies. If diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and other non-surgical methods have not given you relief, you may be a good candidate for carpal tunnel release.
What the Surgery Will Be Like
The carpal tunnel release surgery is a procedure performed on an outpatient basis in the office procedure room. This is performed under sterile conditions and lasts for less than 1 hour. An incision (scar) is made over the palm over your hand over the carpal tunnel. The thick ligament that is constricting your carpal tunnel is released and the median nerve is then freed. The skin is then repaired and your hand is wrapped is a light, soft bandage. You will get to go home that same day.
We strive to help you have a speedy recovery and optimize your results. The bandages can be removed in the first couple of days and you can start washing your hands like normal. Keeping your hand elevated helps with the initial normal swelling that occurs after any procedure. During the healing process, the released ligament gradually reforms in its new position that allows more room for the median nerve. Depending on your type of occupation, you can gradually go back to using your hand normally after 1 to 2 weeks. The sore sensation gradually improves over the next several weeks.
Call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Wong today! When you meet her, she will assess whether you are a good candidate for carpal tunnel release. The details and risks of the surgery will be discussed with you and Dr. Wong will provide you with a highly individualized treatment plan. She looks forward to meeting you!