Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is it and what causes it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful condition of the hand and fingers, caused by a compression of the median nerve as it travels through the passage of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. The condition may be associated with anything that places excessive pressure on the wrist, occluding the carpal tunnel. These include repetitive hand movements, arthritis, fluid retention or internal malformations of the bones, tendons or nerves.
Temporary relief from the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may be achieved through the use of corticosteroid injections. While this method is not appropriate for long-term treatment of the condition, in conjunction with physiotherapy and lifestyle changes the frequency and severity of symptoms can be effectively managed.
For more severe cases or instances where primary treatment options have proven unsuccessful, a carpal tunnel release may be required. This option is a simple procedure which can be performed under local anaesthetic, and involves the surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament in order to increase the carpal tunnel and reduce pressure on surrounding tissue and nerves.