What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition where pressure is applied to a nerve located in the wrist. This can cause a tingling sensation as well as numbness and pain in the hand as well as the fingers. While this can be treated at home, it can often require medical treatment in order to reduce the pain and solve the issue.
Diagnosing Carpal Tunnel
In most cases, diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome is fairly simple. Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and will carry out a physical examination of the hand. If they are unsure you might be referred for tests such as an ultrasound scan or an MRI scan.
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Treating Carpal Tunnel
There are several different types of treatment that can be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. To begin with, your doctor might recommend for you to wear a splint to prevent movement and strain, giving the problem time to correct itself. However, if this has not helped then a steroid injection might be required to reduce the swelling and ease the symptoms. A steroid injection might work in the short-term but it is not a cure and so, you might need further injections. If the problem still persists then your specialist might recommend surgery to cure the problem.
Surgery is carried out as day surgery and a small injection will numb the wrist before a small incision is made in the hand. The carpal tunnel is then cut so that the pressure on the nerve is relieved. The operation takes around 30 minutes and you will be able to go home the same day. It can take around a month before you are able to return to normal activities.
Managing Carpal Tunnel
You can choose to wear a wrist splint which can help to keep the wrist straight and relieve all pressure on it. However, it is also advised that you cut down on activities that can cause the problem to flare-up or worsen. Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to help ease the pain as a short term solution.
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