What are the treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

What are the treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes pain and tingling in the fingers, and weakness of the thumb muscles.  It is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes from the wrist to the hand.

Treatment options include:-

i) watching and waiting, (although this can lead to nerve compression and this should only be done on the advice of your doctor.)

ii) splinting including futura splints at night.  The bar should be bent into a straight position as the pressures in the carpal tunnel are lowest when the bar is straight.  See


iii) Hand therapy: Sometimes for mild carpal tunnel syndrome a combination of splints and hand therapy can be helpful to keep the tendons and nerve gliding and reduce symptoms

iv) Steroid injections: steroid can be helpful as a treatment but also for diagnosis.  It does have a risk of thinning or bleaching the skin, and if it is injected too close to the nerve it can cause nerve damage, so it should only be done by an experienced clinician.

v) Carpal Tunnel Decompression Surgery: This is done with you awake, as a daycase procedure.  Local anaesthetic is injected to numb the skin, and the thick compressive ligament is divided.  This is very reliable at improving symptoms, and ensures no further damage to the nerve.

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