Surgical and Non-Surgical Carpal Tunnel Treatment

The treatment objective with any carpal tunnel treatment is to be able to resume usual daily routines and activities, particularly those that involve the hands. Another goal will be to treat other underlying conditions that may have caused the worsening of the injury.

To do the above mentioned objective, it is the inflammation of the nerve that should be given focus, first and foremost. This will also show what the underlying cause of the CT syndrome is. After which, the afflicted person will know which activities and routines are better left avoided or done differently to keep away from any hand injuries.

It is the severity of the injury that determines what treatment is best employed. It is divided into two categories, the surgical and non-surgical methods.

Non-Surgical Methods of Carpal Tunnel Treatment

These methods are most commonly prescribed for the milder cases of carpal tunnel syndrome:

  1. Determining if the symptoms being experienced are indicating any other medical conditions that may not be CTS and modifying the current mode of treatment used to suit the condition appropriately.
  2. Modifying any routine or physical activities that may cause CTS or result to further damage of an already existing hand injury. Since some activities may not be totally avoided altogether, occasional breaks from prolonged stressful hand-involving tasks can be the best option.
  3. Employing hand/wrist braces and splints for support.
  4. The use of Light Therapy for pain relief and reduction of swelling.
  5. Performing hand exercises such as stretching and bending to improve muscle strength.
  6. Making sure not to over use the body so as to avoid any future injuries.

Surgical Methods of CTS:

When non-surgical methods of treatment do not take effect, surgical methods are recommended by orthopedic doctors to treat CTS. Although most Carpal Tunnel surgeries come out to be successful, some of the symptoms of a long-term case of CTS may not be totally eliminated as permanent nerve damage has already been acquired.

There are two types of surgery:

1. Carpal Tunnel Open Release.

This the older form of surgical procedure that is done by making a cut in the affected area that is 2 inches long and making a ligature of the damaged ligament. This makes the carpal tunnel less congested, correcting the compression of the median nerve that is causing much of the annoying symptoms. This is an outpatient basis operation, except if there are other abnormal conditions that should be considered.

2. Carpal Tunnel Endoscopic Release.

What makes this form of treatment interesting is the use of camera that is inserted in the carpal tunnel for a more accurate view of the area while performing the necessary surgical corrections. This procedure makes smaller incisions in the site of surgery and promises benefits such as quicker recuperation and less pain to be felt after the surgery.

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Can I Surgically Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Without Scarring?

Many people have anxiety about going under the knife and being stitched back up again. Others are reluctant, understandably so, to treat their carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, or arthritis of the hand because of the scars that will be left by the incisions and stitches. Both of these reservations are valid, and both of these reservations are not an issue with the Endoscopic No-Stitch Technique to treat carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

The idea of having hand surgery without stitches sounds great. Hand surgery with no large incision sounds almost too good to be true. The fact is that this type of surgery does exist, and it is performed by orthopedic hand surgeons every day.

What is the Endoscopic No-Stitch Technique?

The Endoscopic No-Stitch Technique is exactly what it sounds like; a surgical technique that leaves neither any noticeable incision nor stitches, and therefore, no scars. This is accomplished by using an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube, outfitted with small LED lights and a camera that is connected to a monitor for the surgeon to see what is going on.

How Does It Work?

For the treatment of CTS, the affected hand will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Then, a tiny incision just above the wrist is made on the palm.

Next, the hand doctor will insert the endoscope. Once the endoscope is inserted through the tiny incision, it will guide the hand surgeon to the transverse carpal ligament. The ligament is cut because the carpal tunnel is too narrow for the median nerve to glide through.

By cutting the ligament, the carpal “tunnel” becomes more of a “canal,” that provides enough room for the nerve to pass without any friction to inflame the surrounding tissues.

After severing the transverse carpal ligament, the surgery is basically complete. All that’s left for the surgeon to do is remove the endoscope and give instructions for how to care for your hand during your brief recovery.

What Does Traditional Open Surgery Entail?

In traditional open CTS surgery, a hand surgeon will make a large incision at the base of the palm of the hand to get to the transverse carpal ligament.

The ligament is cut, the skin is placed back over the incision, then stitched back up. The gap where the transverse carpal ligament was cut will eventually fill in with scar tissue over time.

What Can Be Expected Post-Procedure?

Relief is almost immediate with either an open or endoscopic procedure. The stitches in a traditional open operation will be ready to come out 10 to 14 days after surgery.

Once the stitches come out, heavy hand use must be restricted for up to 3 months. Then, of course, there will be unavoidable scarring from the incision and subsequent stitches.

With an endoscopic carpal tunnel release, there is no incision to stitch back up. Relief, again, is almost instant after surgery. The tiny incision will be covered with steri-strips that can be removed usually less than two weeks after the surgery.

What Are The Advantages of a No-Stitch Carpal Tunnel Release?

The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes in your hand doctor’s office and is 98% effective. Patients can expect same-day relief of pain and much quicker recovery time than with the open procedure.

This not only leaves no scarring, but greatly reduces your risk of infection and complication after the procedure.

The Endoscopic No-Stitch Procedure is the most effective, least invasive procedure for the treatment of CTS. The No-Stitch Technique can also be utilized in a number of other hand and wrist procedures with the same results. There is no longer any reason to live life with hand and wrist pain. You can be pain-free and scar-free in an afternoon.

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