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Treatments

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition that causes pain and discomfort in the hand and wrist due to increased pressure on the nerve that crosses the front of the wrist. This is called the median nerve and runs through a tight tunnel of tendons, allowing you to bend your fingers.

You may require carpal tunnel release if you feel pain and discomfort when moving your fingers and wrist. One of the first signs of CTS is numbness in the thumb, index finger and middle finger – symptoms tend to worsen during the night.

The specific type of treatment that is required is dependent on the severity of CTS present. If your symptoms are mild, then you may be offered a steroid injection which will alleviate the pain in the short term but may well come back. Or you could be given a wrist splint/support to be worn during the night. The splint will prevent the wrist from bending and reducing the pressure on the median nerve which causes pain and discomfort.

In more severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the most effective treatment will be surgery (under local anaesthetic). If surgery is the best option for your case, your surgeon will make a cut to the carpal ligament to reduce the pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

This operation is usually performed as a day case or outpatient procedure which means you can go home on the day of surgery.

Generally, following surgery, your symptoms may continue to improve for up to six months, or even longer if the carpal tunnel syndrome was related to work.

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