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 is 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.
Apart from getting ample rest and taking pain medications in time, there are certain things one can do for a smooth and speedy recovery, such as-
- Keep your hand elevated.
- Ice the surgical site for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a day (always ask your doctor to make sure it is safe for you).
- Limit your hand motion and let it recover.
- Wear slip-on shoes and loose-fitting clothing which are easy to get on and off without much trouble.
- Use voice activation controls on your smartphone and other electronics, if you can. This will reduce hand motion.