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What is Carpel Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome refers to pain, tingling, or numbness in one or both hands resulting from compression of the median nerve at the wrist. These symptoms are frequently worse at night, and often improve by shaking of the hand. This problem is diagnosed by a combination of clinical assessment and nerve conduction studies. In some cases, such as during pregnancy, carpal tunnel syndrome may resolve on its own. However, in many patients, the problem requires surgery.

How is it treated?

Carpal tunnel syndrome frequently responds to analgesia, the use of a hand splint at night, and the avoidance of aggravating activities. In cases which do not respond to conservative measures, surgery may be indicated. This operation is performed frequently by neurosurgeons and is known as a carpal tunnel decompression. It involves making a small incision, or cut, in the palm of the hand, and dividing the band of tissue which is constricting the nerve. This is done usually under local anesthetic and light sedation and the patient returns home on the same day.


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