MedClinic > Blog > Neurosurgery > Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome – compression of the median nerve, which is passing in the wrist. The causes of damage to the root of the nerve ending in the wrist are loading of the wrist joint, sharp turns of the wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome is manifested by pain in the wrist.
Why is the median nerve compressed?
Carpal tunnel syndrome does not arise only from the fact that a person made a sharp, inaccurate movement with his wrist. The reason that the median nerve is pinched is the narrowing of the tunnel through which the nerve ending passes.

Factors provoking the development of the syndrome include:
heavy load;
if the wrist has been in an uncomfortable position for a long time;
continuous execution of monotonous movements (professional activity);
prolonged retention of elevated temperature;

Categories at risk include following people with:
– the presence of bad habits;
– fracture of the arm;
– arthritis;
– ischemia;
– inflammation in the hand.

Symptoms of the syndrome
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome:

painful movements of the wrist;
the inability to perform simple household movements;
increased pain intensity during night sleep and in the morning;
weak muscles.

With these signs, the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome should be started immediately. Numbness and weakness in the muscles of the hand indicate the rapid development of the disease. The pain syndrome affects not only the wrist but also the entire arm, shoulder, neck.

How to diagnose?
The absence of a specific symptomatic picture makes it impossible to make a
diagnosis only by examining the patient. The following methods are used to diagnose
the syndrome:
CT scan;
Magnetic resonance imaging;
a complete history of the patient is being investigated;
the examination being carried out.

Therapeutic measures

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome in the first stages is carried out using medication. Drugs are selected by the attending physician, depending on the severity of the symptomatic picture. During therapy, it is necessary to limit the load on the wrist as much as possible, up to complete immobilization. Rest for the wrist, if the disease does not progress dramatically, it helps to cure the disease without serious medical intervention.
Medications are aimed at stopping pain and reducing the inflammatory process in the hand, which helps release the nerve from pressure. Vitamin complexes are prescribed without fail to normalize the state of muscle tissue and restore its functionality. In the absence of positive dynamics from drug therapy or if the wrist pain persists, surgery is used as a treatment method for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Minimally invasive surgery is used to repair the damaged nerve ending. An incision is made on the wrist with a size of no more than 5 cm, with simultaneous dissection of the transverse ligament. The ends of the ligament remain free, which helps to relax the nerve and restore the mobility of the wrist. After dissection of the ligament, the skin is sutured, the patient is not required to be in the hospital.
The operation of the transverse ligament dissection is simple, does not require preparatory manipulations. After surgery, the patient has prescribed physiotherapy, massages to increase the motion range of the wrist and cold compresses are applied to reduce swelling.
The quickness of recovery will depend on the patient himself. In the recovery period after surgery, it is necessary to protect the wrist, limit the load on it, undergo all physiotherapy procedures. On average, rehabilitation takes 1-2 months.