:Patients are often labelled Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and it becomes a grab-bag for anyone complaining of anything to do with their hand. Well-meaning friends will tell stories about surgery and the success or otherwise.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a very specific condition. The median nerve (which usually supplies sensation to the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger) is crushed by pressure from swollen tendons at the level of the wrist joint. While this can sound a bit severe, it doesn't take much swelling to irritate the nerve. As such, when the nerve is irritated, it fires off pins and needles and eventually numbness information to the brain. This usually wakes you at night, forcing you to hang the hand over the side of the bed or shake it. While CTS itself is not always a problem, the sleep deprivation can be significant.
The treatment options are:
1. Splint (worn at night and prevents curling your wrists during the night)
2. Steroids (this has varying success, but some think it is worth a try)
3. Surgery Obviously the surgeon is most familiar with the surgery and can discuss it with you. It is up to you which option you take, but if your thumb muscle is getting weak, then you should seriously contemplate surgery.
Orthopaedic Surgeon in Cairns, Far North Queensland