Carpal tunnel is a common but problematic condition causing pain, numbness and weakness of your hand. It can significantly impact your life and everyday function, including sleep disruption, restricted role, and affecting your work. Our network of world-leading hand surgeons can help relieve symptoms by releasing the carpal tunnel and pressure on the nerve.
The carpal tunnel is an anatomical area on the palm side of your wrist where the bones surround the median nerve and muscle tendons; this has a ‘roof’ over it in the form of a ligament. It is a tight space, and any increase in pressure can disrupt the normal function of the nerve, thus giving pins and needles, pain and weakness.
Should I Visit a Doctor for Carpal Tunnel?
The symptoms commonly found in the carpal tunnel may seem like a simple annoyance, but over time the pain can increase and severely affect simple hand functions like gripping.
It is most common among pregnant women, people who perform repetitive hand motions, a family history of this condition and people with certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes. You should always see a doctor if you think you may suffer from carpal tunnel, as this could develop into a more advanced and potentially more serious condition, resulting in loss of feeling in fingers, arm, or hand.
Benefits of Treating Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel surgery aims to release the ‘roof’ and thus relieve pressure on the median nerve while protecting the nerve and muscle tendons. Most people gain relief from the carpal tunnel through the effective use of splints, an altering of lifestyle and the cessation of certain positions exacerbating pain in the wrist. However, there are also a proportion of people who get carpal tunnel syndrome temporarily (for example, during pregnancy).
The benefits of carpal tunnel treatment include:
- Decreased pain and numbness
- Released pressure on the median nerve
- Physical therapy to improve wrist and hand surgery
- Physical therapy exercises speed healing and strengthens the affected area
Carpal Tunnel Treatment Explained
- Step 1: The initial consultation will allow the patient and the doctor or surgeon to go through the problem, carry out the necessary examinations, conduct blood tests to exclude underlying causes (thyroid) and x-rays to assess the presence of arthritis. Then, the patient and doctor will discuss if surgery is suitable for the patient in question (and the required preparation).
- Step 2: The surgery itself is a day case procedure performed under local anaesthetic, through which you will feel pressure but no pain in the wrist. A small incision is made over the wrist on the palm side before cutting the ligament (roof) of the carpal tunnel, and you will finally have sutures and a dressing on top of the wound.
- Step 3: You will go home the day of your surgery before a rehabilitation exercise programme can begin a few days later (move your fingers from the day of surgery and gentle wrist).
What Are The Risks of Carpal Tunnel Surgery?
As with any other surgical procedure, some (rare) risks are associated with carpal tunnel surgery and treatment. These include:
- Risks of temporary nerve damage or permanent
- No relief in pain or symptoms
How Much Does Carpal Tunnel Surgery Cost?
In the UK, private carpal tunnel surgery price is around £1800. But this price is dependent on a few factors, such as which consultant you choose, your medical history and the type of anaesthetic you select.