Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause a substantial amount of pain, numbness and tingling in the index and middle fingers and thumb. It can also lead to a burning sensation throughout the wrist, hand and lower arm. In some cases, people with carpal tunnel syndrome may suffer from weakness in their hand, with a lessened ability to grip firmly. While the syndrome can trouble people throughout the day, symptoms often get worse at night.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
There are a number of factors that lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, a disorder characterized by a pinched median nerve in the wrist. It is named for the carpal tunnel, a narrow passage near your palm at the wrist. This area is the home of flexor tendons that allow people to bend their fingers as well as the median nerve that provide sensation to the hand. When special tissues in the area swell and narrow the tunnel, the median nerve becomes pinched and pressured. As a result, people may feel a range of uncomfortable and difficult sensations that interfere with their ability to work and play; the syndrome becomes progressively more painful and restrictive over time.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including repetitive motion at work, arthritis, fractures or trauma in the area, injuries to the tendons and hormonal changes in the body. If you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be looking for ways to find relief from your worsening symptoms, especially if you have already tried non-surgical treatments and failed to find relief.
Understanding Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
In the past, surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome required a hand surgeon to open the wrist and hand. Now, endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery provides a minimally invasive option for powerful, effective treatment to address the causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Endoscopic carpal tunnel syndrome surgery in Red Bank makes use of very tiny incisions in the wrist. Your skilled hand surgeon will insert a thin tube with a camera attached called an endoscope to view the structure of your wrist and carpal tunnel without opening the area surgically. Your surgeon will also make use of tiny cutting tools that enable precision work in the smallest of spaces.
During the procedure, your surgeon cuts the transverse carpal ligament in your wrist in order to relieve the pressure on your median nerve that is the cause of your carpal tunnel syndrome. Only a tiny suture is necessary to close the incisions to perform the surgery, and over time, the small gap in the ligament will fill with scar tissue. The surgery itself takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Recovery After Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery in Red Bank
This endoscopic procedure is performed on an outpatient basis by our skilled hand surgeon, Dr. Sotirios Papafragkou, an active member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. Because only tiny incisions are necessary to complete the procedure, recovery time is generally much shorter and less painful than with open surgery.
In many cases, people will experience an immediate reduction in pain and numbness. In other cases, symptoms will subside over a period of weeks. Your use of your hand after surgery will also depend on your daily activities. For people who use their hands for light duties, they may be able to return to work after only one or two days away. On the other hand, people who engage in heavy, repetitive labor with their affected hand may need to return to work after a longer period. Your surgeon will advise you of the ideal recovery period for your unique circumstances.
After your procedure, your wrist will be wrapped and bandaged, and your surgeon will provide necessary pain medication to assist in your comfort. In addition, your doctor may advise a program of physical therapy to help you improve the movement and strength of your hand and wrist.
After Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery
In most cases, people who have this procedure have significantly reduced symptoms following the surgery, and in some cases, they have no symptoms at all. Dr. Papafragkou will review your prognosis based on the status of your hand and the development of your condition prior to the surgery.
Contact Us for a Consultation
If you are suffering from the effects of carpal tunnel syndrome, up to and including nerve damage, Dr. Papafragkou and East Coast Plastic Surgery can work with you to help you find relief. Your surgeon will review all of your medical records and discuss the potential effectiveness of this endoscopic procedure. You can ask all of your questions about endoscopic or open carpal tunnel surgery and the different options available for you to treat your pain and numbness. To schedule your private consultation, call 732.639.5661.