A doctor can diagnose a carpal tunnel syndrome by doing a physical examination and tests called nerve conduction studies. The physical examination may include a thorough evaluation of your hand, shoulder, wrist, neck or any other parts that can cause pressure in the nerve. The doctor may also check if there are any tenderness or swelling in the wrist. The doctor may further check the sensation of the fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand.
To relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, the doctor conducts a surgery called Carpal Tunnel Release surgery. During a carpal tunnel release or surgery, the surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This makes more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel, and usually improves pain and function.
When does a person require a carpal tunnel release?
The doctor might suggest a carpal tunnel release when:
- The nonsurgical interventions for carpal tunnel syndrome fail to provide relief from the pain.
- The muscles of the hands or wrists are weak and actually getting smaller because of the severe pinching of the median nerve.
- The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome have lasted 6 months or longer with no relief.
- The doctor performs an electromyography test of the median nerve and determines that you have carpal tunnel syndrome.