Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a set of symptoms related to pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. This is compressive neuropathy, which means that mechanical pressure is responsible for adverse changes in the nerve. It occurs with a frequency of about 50 cases per 1000 people (4-5% of the population). Women get sick more often than men, and changes often occur in both hands.
There are many reasons for the syndrome. The appearance of the carpal tunnel syndrome is predisposed by such factors as work associated with repetitive movements loading the hands, the use of vibrating equipment, pregnancy, menopause, obesity, gout, diabetes, acromegaly, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, as well as cancer. It can also arise without a tangible reason, but often accompanies various diseases and habits, as well as professional work.
The habits that cause carpal tunnel syndrome are primarily repetitive, uniform finger and wrist movements, such as minor manual work, heavy physical work, typing, and frequent computer mouse operations. Some professions favor this, which is why this syndrome is more common among e.g. secretaries, musicians. Sometimes nerve compression is caused by injury (e.g. wrist fracture) or swelling of the structures in the carpal tunnel (e.g. during pregnancy).
The symptoms of CTS are most often unpleasant sensations in the area of the thumb, forefinger, and half of the ring finger. They include tingling, numbness, discomfort. Usually, muscle weakness, sometimes with muscle atrophy, accompanies this. Patients often have problems with making precise movements with their sick hands, they feel weak. Sometimes the items they keep falling out of their hands, they have problems writing and doing normal activities. Symptoms get worse at night. Often, unpleasant tingling and numbness wake the patient from sleep. Lowering the arm down usually relieves the symptoms.
The method of choice is surgical treatment, which is the only method that allows complete recovery, because it removes the cause of the changes, i.e. pressure exerted on the median nerve.
During open surgery, the compressed median nerve is released by cutting the degenerated and hypertrophied flexor straps, which is responsible for pressure on the nerve.
The incision is made at the base of the hand. This allows the doctor to see the transverse wrist ligament (flexor cord). After cutting the ligament, the postoperative wound is sutured with skin sutures.
In our Center, the procedure is performed under intravenous anesthesia, in operating theater conditions. With an uncomplicated postoperative course, you can go home the same day.
Carpal tunnel syndrome – how can we prevent this?
To minimize the risk of the carpal tunnel before warming up your hand, warm up your hand and fingers, and during work, you must take breaks to relax and rest your hands and arms. Try to avoid repetitive wrist movements. A correctly positioned computer workstation is very important.
In the early stages of the disease, we can focus on non-surgical treatment, and in case of failure, apply the surgical treatment.
Change in the manner of performing professional activities
Periodic physical therapy.
Carpal tunnel surgery is indicated when nonsurgical treatment has not been able to alleviate the symptoms or the symptoms are significantly advanced.
It should be remembered that operative carpal tunnel release surgery only gives a chance for nerve regeneration, which can last up to several months, depending on the stage of the disease.
Carpal tunnel consultation and release surgery is carried out by
Doctor of Medicine Dariusz Hudzik, orthopaedist
What is the cost of the procedure?
Open carpal tunnel surgery – 2500 PLN
(price includes intravenous anesthesia).
The final price of the procedure is determined individually during a consultation with the doctor.