Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel in your wrist is compressed when you have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and it can affect hand movements.
If you’re experiencing numbness, tingling or difficulty doing finger movements, you need to visit a hand specialist at your trusted Singapore hospital or clinic.
Most people opt to get surgery only if other treatments do not provide enough relief. Surgical treatments involve cutting the flexor retinaculum, a fibrous band on the inside of the wrist. It aims to reduce pressure on the median nerve and help relieve symptoms or make them go away for good. However, like any surgery, it is not without risk.
Two Surgeries for Carpal Tunnel
Though surgery does make symptoms go away, it is not always necessary. Others usually prefer going through other treatments, especially if the condition is still in its early stages. Usually, a hand doctor from a Singapore hospital or anywhere around the world only suggests surgery to treat acute carpal tunnel syndrome. It is a rare condition.
There are two types of hand surgery you can get from your trusted Singapore hospital or speciality clinic. They are:
- Open Carpal Tunnel Release – the surgeon cuts your palm and your wrist. They immediately cut the flexor retinaculum through that cut.
- Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release – They insert an endoscope in one of the cuts to monitor the procedure. An instrument will be inserted into the other to cut the flexor retinaculum. Another technique uses a single cut to perform the procedure.
Both approaches equally relieve symptoms and are associated with similar risks. However, endoscopic procedures require less time to heal. It allows people to return to their daily activities much sooner.
These procedures are more often performed in day clinics. Both are considered minor surgeries since only a local anaesthetic is needed to numb your hand or arm. However, brief regional or general anaesthesia might also be used.
How Effective is Surgery?
A hand doctor in Singapore or anywhere around the world only considers suggesting surgery when symptoms are regular. Hand specialists only recommend undergoing surgery when problems are associated with an increase in painful sensations despite treatments.
Acute carpal tunnel syndrome is uncommon, especially one that comes with sudden and severe pain. It often occurs after an injury, infection or bleeding in the wrist. In these cases, surgery can provide immediate and effective relief than repeat injections and splint treatments.
Symptoms disappear or improve rapidly after surgery if you don’t experience any lasting abnormal sensations or loss of strength in the wrist. Another factor that determines how fast you recover is how badly the nerve was damaged. More severe symptoms can take from several weeks to months before it completely goes away.
Yet, getting surgery does not guarantee complete relief. Your symptoms might not completely go away, or they may come back afterwards. The severity of your symptoms and how long you suffered before you had addressed it plays a key role in this. You might also be suffering from other illnesses. Undergoing surgery at an earlier stage guarantees higher chances of success. However, a larger number of people report that their symptoms improved or are symptom-free.
Here are a few explanations why sometimes the procedure did not bear the desired outcome.
- The condition you are in might be at an advanced stage that getting surgery can no longer make the symptoms disappear.
- A wrong diagnosis might have been made.
- The occurrence of a surgical error or the flexor retinaculum not being cut completely might lead to the persistence or worsening of the symptoms.
Risks Associated with Surgery
There might be bruising in your hand or temporary numbness after the procedure. You might experience it for a few weeks before it disappears. Pain or trouble with the surgical scar is another problem that may occur and last longer. Only a small percentage of people have experienced these kinds of minor complications. Even lesser people complain of major complications following the surgery, like a swollen hand or median nerve damage.
The risk of getting complications also depends on how experienced the hand doctor from your trusted Singapore hospital or clinic is. It is more apparent for endoscopic procedures since they are slightly more difficult to perform.
What Do You Need to Keep In Mind
The surgeon will wrap your wrists in bandages after surgery. You would also have to go back to get the stitches removed after two weeks.
People have expressed differing opinions on how long you should rest your hand after getting surgery. Most doctors recommend keeping the wrists still for a few days and wearing a splint. However, there is no scientific evidence that says it helps in the recovery process. Moving your hand and putting some strain on it should be okay, but only to a degree that it does not cause any pain or discomfort.
All the doctors will tell you to avoid heavy lifting and major strain for several weeks so the wound can heal. It usually only takes three weeks before you can fully put your wrist to work, depending on the nature of your work. It can take up to four or five weeks for people that use their hands a lot in their jobs.
If you are suspicious of your wrists’ health, you can visit Advanced Hand, Wrist and Nerve Centre for a check-up and consultation. It is a one-stop centre for all hand, wrist and nerve conditions. They offer consultations and hand surgery and provide a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment services. Various doctors and specialists will help you manage all hand, wrist and nerve disorders like trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cyst, etc. Advanced Hand, Wrist and Nerve Centre houses a top-tier wrist specialist in Singapore. Call them now to book an appointment for a consultation and start your treatment journey.