Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused when pressure is exerted on the median nerve (a nerve that runs from forearm to the palm) in the wrist. This happens when the nerve passes through the “carpal tunnel” (a narrow passageway comprised of both bone and ligaments at the base of the hand) and the tunnel narrows and compresses the nerve. Those suffering from carpal tunnel experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
Patients have the option between surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Surgical treatment options include:
- Open carpal tunnel release: This surgery essentially opens up the carpal tunnel to create more space for the nerves and ligaments which travel through it. The doctor makes a small incision in your palm and divides the carpal tunnel roof, increasing the size of the carpal tunnel. The ligament may gradually grow back after but there will still be more space and less pressure on the median nerve. This surgery essentially opens up the carpal tunnel to create more space for the nerves and ligaments which travel through it.
- Endoscopic tunnel release: Similar to the open carpal tunnel release, except with a camera. The doctor makes one or two incisions in your palm and views the carpal tunnel with an endoscope, unlike open surgery that can be viewed with the naked eye. The doctor then uses the same method to divide the carpal tunnel to open and release pressure on the median nerve.