What are the treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be acutely painful, especially at night when it may prevent sleeping. It also affects the function of the hand, imposing restrictions on certain movements. For some, the condition will be irksome but manageable; but for others it can be intolerable and it is usually at this point that a patient will seek specialist surgical help at plastic surgeon Mr Sudip Ghosh’s Milton Keynes hand surgery clinic.

What is causing the pain?

The carpal tunnel is the space in the wrist between the small carpal bones and the retinaculum ligament. Through this tunnel runs the median nerve, serving the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. If the median nerve becomes compressed, perhaps through trauma, arthritis or pregnancy-related water retention, it produces a set of symptoms identified as carpal tunnel syndrome. These may include hand weakness, a loss of dexterity, pins and needles in the fingers, burning in the thumb and, as mentioned above, higher levels of pain at night.

Will it just go away?

For 1 in 4 sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome, the condition will clear up on its own. If your symptoms are not acute yet persist, there are several approaches that may be successful, including steroid injections and wrist splints. In some cases, however, leaving the wrist untreated could result in the muscles at the base of the thumb wasting away or of the nerve itself sustaining permanent damage. During your consultation, Milton Keynes-based surgeon Mr Ghosh will examine your hand to assess the severity of the condition before advising you on the best course of action for your individual case. He may suggest a surgical procedure that entails relieving the pressure that sits on the median nerve by cutting a carpal ligament. This can be performed using local anaesthetic in the outpatient clinic and is a procedure Mr Ghosh has performed to alleviate many painful cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.

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