What is carpal tunnel syndrome and how is it treated?

carpal tunnel

As a plastic surgeon, I have the opportunity to operate on several areas of the body.  Our hands are vital to our everyday life and I enjoy being able to restore their function by performing carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgeries.   The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist that various tendons and the median nerve pass through in order to reach the hand. The median nerve has several functions, including providing sensation or feeling to the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger as well as providing supply to the muscles at the base of the thumb. Sometimes swelling can occur in this space, which compresses the nerve and can cause symptoms of numbness and weakness in the hand. These symptoms can be permanent if not treated early.  

There are various treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome depending on your symptoms and their duration. The simplest treatment is to wear nighttime splints to help prevent compression on the nerve.  Another potential treatment option is a steroid injection into the carpal tunnel. Lastly, a surgical procedure called a carpal tunnel release, could be considered. 

The surgery takes approximately 15 minutes and is performed as outpatient. The surgery involves making an incision approximately 3 cm long in the palm near the wrist and dividing the ligament of the carpal tunnel, which relieves the pressure on the nerve. You are typically able to use your hand for light activities (such as typing) in a few days and will have near full use of your hand after four weeks. .   As a plastic surgeon I have training in advanced reconstructive techniques, including hand surgery, and focus on suturing techniques that minimize scarring.

This surgery is usually covered by most insurance companies.  Call me today to schedule your consultation at our office located in Troy, Michigan.  248-524-0620. 

Dr. Sarah Elswick 

Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

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