Carpal tunnel syndrome

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Early morning pain or a “pins and needles” sensation in your hands can be very distressing and may be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

What is CTS?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common nerve entrapment which can occur in anyone but is more common in females over 40 years. The pain and numbness experienced is caused by pressure on the nerve.

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Common symptoms

The symptoms of CTS are classically pain and “pins and needles” mainly affecting the thumb, index and middle fingers of the hand. This commonly occurs in the morning. There can be loss of sensation (numbness) and weakness.

Causes: How does CTS occur?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. The nerve passes through a tunnel and if there is increased pressure or swelling the nerve can become is compressed. In many cases there is no specific cause however, CTS can be made worse by overextending the wrist repeatedly and is frequently linked to medical conditions includeing pregnancy, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. 

How CTS is diagnosed

Your specialist will examine you and perform simple clinical tests in outpatients. One may also request nerve conduction studies which are also performed at Schoen Clinic.

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment

CTS treatment without surgery

At Schoen clinic we will recommend the best treatment for your CTS symptoms and successful, less invasive options are:

  • Oral painkillers and wearing a wrist splint
  • Steroid injections
  • Physiotherapy or hand therapy

Carpal tunnel decompression surgery

Specialist surgeons at Schoen Clinic can also offer carpal tunnel decompression surgery as an option to relieve CTS symptoms. This is usually performed under local anaesthetic as a day case procedure. This procedure is associated with some very low risks however, your surgeon will discuss these in detail with you during your consultation.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Aftercare & Rehab

You can go home on the same day as surgery. The anaesthetic should keep working for the following 12 hours and you will be given oral painkillers to take for the first few days. You will be given exercises to do once at home and will be advised to keep the hand raised as much as possible in the first three days to prevent swelling. Your dressings will be reduced to a simple dressing following two days.
Sutures are typically removed at 12-14 days.Symptoms should improve within a week but may not be completely better until about 3-6 months. Gripping, leaning and heavy lifting may be uncomfortable during this healing period

CTS: Our hand specialists

Carpal tunnel syndrome: Our specialised hospital