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What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as median nerve compression, is a condition which affects the hand. The median nerve is located on the palm side of your hand which is also known as the carpal tunnel. The median nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the thumb, the index finger, and parts of the ring finger. The nerve is responsible for the muscle going to the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually accompanied by sensations of pain, tingling, burning or swelling in the palm of the hands and may extend to the first three fingers of the hand and the thumb.

If you have signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, better not avoid the condition and visit an expert orthopedic doctor for carpal tunnel treatment in Pune.

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Overview

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Surgery Incision
  • Incision in open carpal tunnel release surgery is about 2 inches.
  • In endoscopic carpal tunnel release ,the doctor makes two incisions of half-inch each.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Management
  • Wearing a wrist splint to put it in a neutral position
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Local steroid injections
  • Anti inflammatory medications
  • Surgery
Restrictions after Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • Avoid lifting things heavier than 0.5 to 1 kg and overusing your hand for about 2 weeks.
  • Avoid doing repeated arm or hand movements and activities like typing or using a computer, or chopping food.
  • Avoid activities that cause vibration in the hand.
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Treatment

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

An orthopedic specialist can diagnose 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.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

To relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, an orthopedic doctor performs a surgery called Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery. The goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to reduce pain, swelling and pressure on the median nerve. This surgery is performed in a hospital operating room under the influence of general or local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis. During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon makes 1 or 2 small incisions, about ½ inch each, in the palm or wrist area. These small incisions will result in very small scars, which in most cases are unnoticeable.

An endoscope is inserted through one incision. The endoscope has a camera on its end, which allows the doctor to look for any pathology or anomaly. The endoscope presents an image on the television screen that allows the surgeon to see the inside of the hand or wrist directly. The doctor may insert surgical instruments through the second incision to cut the transverse carpal ligament and thus releasing the pressure on the median nerve by expanding the carpal tunnel. After the ligament is cut, the incisions are closed by dissolvable sutures. Carpal tunnel release surgery is much less traumatic to the joint, muscles ligaments, and tissues than the conventional carpal tunnel surgery that is performed with long incisions.

In Our Doctor's Word

Dr. Ashish Taneja

MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics

17 Years Experience

"The prevalence of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is 2.7% to 5.8% in general population. In Inida alone, there are several people suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and most of them kleep delaying their treatment because of some misconceptions. But the truth is, most of the cases can be treated with the help of medications, surgery and physiotherapy. But, since patients do not approach us on time, the delay severs the condition and makes difficulty to treat. See, the symptoms usually begin through an abnormal pain or swelling around your wrist. If you are experiencing any, do not wait for it to get worse/ self diagnose. See a specialist as soon as possible., because they are the one who can really treat or cure your condition."

Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for post-operative care and management after Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

After your carpal tunnel release surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend you to follow certain postoperative tips for a smooth and speedy recovery and to avoid any complications. Tips for postoperative care after carpal tunnel surgery are-

  • Elevate your hand above heart level, this will help reduce swelling.
  • Wear a splint at night
  • Use ice packs at the surgical area
  • Keep the surgical area clean and dry and cover your hand with plastic wrap when bathing.
  • Regular physiotherapy to restore wrist strength.
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Do not smoke as smoking will hamper healing
Is carpal tunnel surgery covered by insurance?

Most health insurance companies cover the cost of carpal tunnel release surgery and provide up to full coverage. We have a dedicated team for hassle-free insurance approvals of our patients. You can also avail our No-Cost EMI Option in case you need assistance with finances for the surgery.

What is the cost of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery in Pune?
  • Minimum cost of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery in Pune- INR 40,000
  • Maximum cost of Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery in Pune- INR 60,000

There are several factors that can influence the cost of your carpal tunnel release surgery, including, general fee of the surgeon performing the surgery, type of anesthesia administered and if the city where the surgery is being performed. You can get in touch with our team to get an estimated cost of carpal tunnel surgery in Pune.

What complications can occur with use of non-surgical treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Rarely, complications may arise due to prolonged use of non-operative treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking anti-inflammatory or pain medications may cause an upset stomach, or with prolonged use, it may develop an ulcer. However, more significant risks might be associated with the steroid injection for carpal tunnel.

What is the median nerve?

The median nerve is one of the three major nerves in the hand and forearm. It passes through the carpal tunnel and receives sensations from the fingers of the hand.

Is homeopathic medicine for carpal tunnel syndrome effective?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive condition that needs medical treatment based on the severity of the condition, backed by a detailed diagnosis. Homeopathic medicine for carpal tunnel syndrome can provide temporary relief from the symptoms but that typically lasts until the medication is continued. Clinical trials and research do not support the effectiveness of homeopathic medicine for carpal tunnel syndrome.

How long is the carpal tunnel surgery incision?

Open surgery for CTS requires a long incision of 2 inches. However, endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, which is a less invasive technique to release pressure off the median vein requires two small incisions of about ½ an inch each.

Where would I feel carpal tunnel pain?

Carpal tunnel syndrome affects the hand and wrist. Carpal tunnel pain is usually felt worse in the thumb, index and middle fingers. Severe CTS can cause pain in the whole hand. The patient may also have pain running up the arm to the shoulder and neck. In some cases, CTS can affect both hands, which can cause symptoms and pain in both the hands.

What are the most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve. Pregnant women and people with conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, underactive thyroid, and certain forms of amyloidosis are at increased risk of developing CTS.

People who indulge in repetitive forceful movements involving the wrist and people who use computer keyboards with improper positioning of the hand are also at a risk of CTS. Prolonged exposure to vibrations (such as by using some power tools) is also believed to cause carpal tunnel syndrome. However, in some cases, the cause of CTS cannot be determined.

When can I drive after carpal tunnel surgery?

Driving is not recommended for about 1 to 2 weeks after carpal tunnel surgery.

What is the goal of carpal tunnel surgery?

To relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, an orthopedic doctor performs a surgery. The goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to reduce pain, swelling and pressure on the median nerve. This surgery is performed in a hospital operating room under the influence of general or local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis.

How do orthopedic doctors treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Your course for treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome will begin with diagnosis. After a comprehensive, detailed examination and diagnosis, your orthopedic specialist will provide a personalized treatment plan, tailored as per your case. Depending on your condition and symptoms, your orthopedist might recommend bracing or wearing a splint to keep the wrist in a neutral position. Anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections might also be recommended to relieve painful symptoms of CTS.

Your orthopedic doctor might also recommend physiotherapy, which will focus on nerve gliding exercises and help alleviate the symptoms. Patients involved in jobs or activities that involve repetitive use of hand and wrist, might be suggested activity changes to reduce the symptoms.

In severe cases, when nonsurgical treatments have not relieved your symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, your orthopedist might bring the option of carpal tunnel release surgery. Call us today to find out if carpal tunnel syndrome is the cause of your painful symptoms and get a personalized treatment plan, based on your case.

What are the advantages of undergoing endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery?

Benefits of choosing the modern procedure of endoscopic carpal tunnel over conventional surgery has the following advantages –

  • Smaller incision
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster and complication-free recovery
  • Reduced postoperative pain
  • Reduced risk of postoperative complications
  • Lower risk of damage to the nearby nerves and blood vessels

Most orthopedic surgeons prefer to use modern, less invasive surgical techniques for various orthopedic surgeries as they involve a smaller incision (comparatively) and thus result in speedy recovery and shorter hospital stay. To know more about endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery and how it can help you, meet our specialist doctors for carpal tunnel treatment in Pune.

How is endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery performed?

Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery is performed in the hospital under the influence of anesthesia. An endoscope is inserted through one incision. The endoscope has a camera on its end, which allows the doctor to look for any pathology or anomaly. The endoscope presents an image on the television screen that allows the surgeon to see the inside of the hand or wrist directly.

The orthopedic surgeon may insert surgical instruments through the second incision to cut the transverse carpal ligament and thus releasing the pressure on the median nerve by expanding the carpal tunnel. After the ligament is cut, the incisions are closed by dissolvable sutures. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is much less traumatic to the joint, muscles ligaments, and tissues than the conventional carpal tunnel surgery that is performed with long incisions.

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