Carpal tunnel surgery

Physical Therapy Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel surgery is a treatment of last resort for patients who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. The median nerve runs down each arm and through small bones in the wrist which is known as the carpal tunnel. When this nerve is inflamed, it can compress nerves in the hand causing pain, tingling and weakness. Advent Physical Therapy looks at what may cause patients to seek carpal tunnel surgery treatment and what they can expect in their recovery.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel that may require surgery

Carpal tunnel syndrome is primarily an overuse injury from repetitive wrist motions. Excessive stress to the wrists can also make this condition worse. Pain and tingling are the most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. In minor cases, self-care treatments like rest, ice and braces can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical treatment:

  • Numbness or loss of feeling in the fingers
  • Muscle weakness in the hands
  • Inability to pinch the thumb and forefinger

Carpal tunnel surgery can help relieve the pressure on the median nerve in severe cases. Left untreated, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can get worse and lead to permanent nerve damage and reduced function of the hand.

How the surgery works

Carpal tunnel surgery does not cure carpal tunnel syndrome, but it does alleviate inflammation of the median nerve. As with any surgery, there are risks of infection, bleeding and excessive scarring.

The surgeon will begin by making a small incision in the wrist. From there, he or she will cut the transverse carpal ligament that runs across the wrist to enlarge the carpal tunnel. This is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and you will be able to go home the same day as the operation.

Recovering from carpal tunnel surgery

Recovery from carpal tunnel surgery can range from several weeks to several months. After the initial bandage or splint is removed, you will begin working with a physical therapist to regain strength and range of motion in your hand.

Advent Physical Therapy is skilled in treating patients who are recovering from carpal tunnel surgery. Contact us today to schedule your initial appointment.