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Definition Carpal tunnel release is surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome . Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain and weakness in the hand that is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. Description The median nerve and the tendons that flex (or curl) your fingers go through a passage called the carpal tunnel in your wrist. This tunnel is narrow, so any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain. A thick ligament (tissue) just under your skin makes up the top of this tunnel. First, you will receive anesthesia (numbing medicine) so that you will not feel pain during surgery. You will be awake but also receive medicines to make you relax. In carpal tunnel release, the surgeon will cut through this ligament to make more space for the nerve and tendons. First your surgeon will make a small incision (cut) in the palm of your hand near your wrist. Then your surgeon will cut the carpal transverse ligament to ease the pressure on the median nerve. Sometimes, tissue around the nerve is remove...
Resources www.aanem.org -- Advancing Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine www.apta.org -- American Physical Therapy Association www.aoec.org -- The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics www.aaos.org -- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons www.assh.org -- American Society for Surgery of the Hand www.ampainsoc.org -- American Pain Society www.iasp-pain.org -- Association for the Study of Pain www.aan.com -- American Academy of Neurology www.nih.gov/niams -- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases www.ninds.nih.gov -- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/carpaltunnelsyndrome.html -- Information on CTS www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html -- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health www.workerscompensationinsurance.com -- Resources for injured workers www.keybowl.com -- orbiTouch keyboard www.ergodevices.com -- Hand and wrist support keyboard
As the story was unfolding in Part One , I shared that my neurologist had referred me to a hand surgeon to be evaluated for treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The hand surgeon injected steroids into each wrist which relieved the swelling, pain, and dysfunction. He stated that when/if the pain returned that my next step would be Carpal Tunnel Release surgery, a procedure I was greatly fearful of and didn’t want to undergo. However, he also referred me to a rheumatologist to be evaluated.
My first appointment with the rheumatologist was exactly two years ago. I brought to the appointment: x-rays of the swollen (and immobile) finger, a note detailing my symptoms and attempted treatments, and a history of blood work. The rheumatologist used a nifty ultrasound machine to detect inflammation around the joints and possible erosion of the bones in the joints due to arthritis. The evidence seen on ultrasound combined with the examination, my hi...
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