Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hands of the patient. Its main symptoms are numbness and pain in the hands, as well as difficulty moving both hand and fingers.
The carpal tunnel is a structure that is located in the wrist so that, if we place the hand with the palm up, the base and walls of this tunnel are formed by the bones of the wrist (also known as carpal), while the roof of said tunnel is formed by the so-called transversal carpal ligament. Through this tunnel pass from the forearm to the hand both the nine flexor tendons that are responsible for flexing the fingers, and the median nerve, responsible for the sensitivity of the thumb, index, middle and part of the ring finger, as well as control the muscles at the base of the thumb.
When the median nerve is pressed and compressed, due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues, it is when the carpal tunnel syndrome and its symptoms occur.
Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome
As already mentioned, carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed due to inflammation of the surrounding tissues. These tissues that surround both the median nerve and the flexor tendons form what is known as the synovial membrane, and can become inflamed for many different causes.
Among the causes that can cause the appearance of this syndrome are the following:
- The hereditary factor plays an important role, since some people have a narrower carpal tunnel and are more prone to suffer from this syndrome. This smaller carpal tunnel feature is something that can be inherited
- The use of the hand (especially if it is intensive) over time is another factor that can contribute to the appearance of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Hormonal changes in pregnancy can also influence.
- Age is another factor, so it is more frequent in people of advanced age
- Other medical conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and imbalances of the thyroid gland, can also contribute to its appearance.
In most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, it is usually a combination of several causes that causes it, and not a single one.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome
There are several treatments to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. If it is detected at a sufficiently early stage, there are non-surgical treatments to relieve it and prevent it from going over. However, if these non-surgical treatments do not work, the carpal tunnel syndrome is already at an advanced stage, or the case is severe, then it is necessary to resort to surgery.
This surgery is usually performed by an endoscopic technique, so it is only necessary to make a small incision in the wrist, through which the surgeon accesses and cuts the transverse carpal ligament that forms “the roof” of the carpal tunnel. This increases the size of the carpal tunnel reducing this way the pressure on the nerve. When the ligament begins to heal it grows transversally, leaving the tunnel with more space for the nerve and tendons than before performing the surgery.
The intervention is short and it is an outpatient procedure, which is usually done under local anesthesia.
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome at Vithas Xanit International Hospital
Finally, remember that in case you need the assistance of a specialist in the treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, at Vithas Xanit International Hospital we are at your disposal to help you. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.