Doctors once thought that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is due to the overuse of injuries performed by the hand or wrist. However, it was discovered that it is due to a congenital predisposition. There are just people born with smaller carpal tunnels than others. It can also be due to injuries like sprain or fracture and the repetitive use of vibrating tools. Pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Visit a hand specialist at your most trusted Singapore clinic or hospital to get a complete diagnosis of your condition.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on your wrist where the median nerve and tendons pass through. These allow your fingers to move. It is formed by the wrist bones as well as the transverse carpal ligament across the top. Injuries and tightness cause these tissues to swell and press on the median nerve. You will experience numbness and tingling of the hand, pain and loss of function if not treated. Symptoms usually start slowly and get progressively worse over time. It tends to be worse on the thumb.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
Carpal tunnel release surgery aims to treat and potentially heal the painful condition of CPS. During this surgery, a surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. It makes more room for the median nerve and tendons that pass through the tunnel and improves pain and function.
Any hand doctor you visit in Singapore or anywhere in the world will most likely recommend you try nonsurgical treatments first. Over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy, changes in the equipment you use, wrist splints, steroidal shots are some treatments that can help relieve the pain.
Some of the reasons that a doctor would recommend this surgery may include:
- Nonsurgical interventions are no longer working to relieve the pain.
- If you have weak hand or wrist muscles and it is getting smaller because of the severe pinching of the median nerve.
- The symptoms lasted for at least six months without any relief.
Risks of Getting Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
Like every other type of hand surgery that you can get from a Singapore clinic or hospital, getting this procedure also comes with some risks. You might be asked to take medicine to make your wrist numb or make you sleepy. There are also cases where general anaesthesia is administered. Anaesthesia poses risks for people that have strong reactions to the drug.
Other potential risks a person might suffer from getting a carpal tunnel release include:
- Injury to the median nerve
- Injuries to the nerves that branch out from it
- Injuries to nearby blood vessels
- Sensitive scarring
Recovering from this surgery can take anywhere from several weeks to several weeks to several months. It might take longer to heal if the compression took place for a longer period. You have to wear a splint on your wrist and get physical therapy to strengthen and heal your wrist and hand.
Other risks depend on a person’s medical condition. Discuss all of your concerns with your doctor before getting the procedure.
What Happens During Surgery
Carpal Tunnel Release is an outpatient procedure that will let you go home the same day if it goes well. There are two types of procedures for carpal release surgery. The open release is the traditional method where the surgeon cuts your wrist open and does the surgery.
You can also opt to get an endoscopic carpal tunnel release. This procedure is executed by inserting a thin, flexible tube that contains a camera into a tiny incision made in your wrist. The doctor guides a camera inside an incision he made in your hand to perform the procedure using small tools.
Performing the Procedure
Here is the general sequence on how to perform the procedure:
- After changing into a hospital gown and entering the operation room, a local anaesthetic will be administered.
- The surgeon will cut an incision (2-inch for open release, two half-inch incisions for endoscopic release) to operate on the carpal ligament and enlarge the carpal tunnel. For endoscopic procedures, one incision is made in the wrist and the other in the palm.
- After performing the procedure, the doctor will stitch up the excision or incision to close it.
- Your hand will be placed in a splint or heavily bandaged to keep you from moving it.
You will be monitored a short time after the surgery is done before you can go home. There are rare cases when an overnight stay is needed for carpal tunnel release surgery.
What Happens After the Surgery
You will likely be wearing a splint or have your hand heavily bandaged for a week or two. The doctor will schedule another appointment to remove the bandage or splint. You are also encouraged to move your fingers to help prevent stiffness.
You might experience pain in your hand or wrist after the surgery controlled through oral pain medicines. The surgeon might also advise you to keep your hands elevated at night to help decrease swelling.
The hand doctor will refer you to a partner Singapore physiotherapy clinic to get physical therapy. Your physical therapist will teach you motion exercises to improve your wrist and hand movement. The motion will also speed up your hand’s healing and strengthen it. There might also be a need for you to use a splint or brace a month after surgery.
The recovery period might take anywhere from a few days to a few months. In the meantime, you have to adjust your job duties or take time off from your work while you heal. Your hand surgeon will be talking to you about all your activity restrictions following the surgery.
There might also be after-effects that you might experience. It is best to look out for the following:
- Redness or swelling on your hand and wrist
- Bleeding or other drainages from the incision
- Increased pain around the incision site
You need to immediately inform your doctor if you experience any of the above-stated symptoms. It needs to be addressed by the doctor to prevent further worsening.
Visit a Specialist Now
You can visit Advanced Hand, Wrist & Nerve Centre to get a consultation regarding your hand and wrist health. They have a top wrist specialist and doctor in Singapore who can look after you with utmost care. Contact them and book your appointment now.