Carpal tunnel syndrome

As a trained hand surgeon with many years of practical experience, I can help you if you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This condition usually arises from a in-born narrowness of the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is found on the inner side of the wrist and serves as a passageway for the flexor tendons from the under arm into the fingers. The median nerve, Nervus medianus, which is responsible for the sensitivity of the inner side of the thumb, index finger, middle finger and part of the ring finger, also runs through this channel. Should tendons or paratenon (the tissue between tendon and its sheath) increase in volume, it can cause these to become squashed and irritated. This in turn disturbs proper signalling by the median nerve. Patients then experience pain and a prickling sensation in their hands.

Other causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include chronic infection of the tendon sheath; temporary, excessive strain on the hand or hormonally driven changes accompanying the aging process, which might cause the tendon sheath to swell. The condition is more common in women than in men, and a rare form of it is sometimes observed to affect pregnant women, but this usually resolves itself after the birth.

Once a neurological examination has firmly diagnosed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, an operation to correct it should be undertaken as soon as possible. This is because the nerve has a better chance of making a full recovery, if it is not subjected to being squashed for a prolonged period of time. Carpal tunnel release can be performed as an out-patient operation and requires only a local anaesthetic.