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Reasons for Recommending a Carpal Tunnel Release

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Presentation: Carpal Tunnel Release - Open
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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You have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome.
Based on your past medical history, physical exam and current symptoms your doctor is recommending a procedure called carpal tunnel release. The goal of carpal tunnel release is to relieve pressure on a specific nerve in your wrist, called the median nerve. When the median nerve is compressed, this produces symptoms such as numbness, tingling and pain usually in the thumb, index and middle fingers. It is also common for your affected hand to feel clumsy.
Patients with medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis are more often affected with carpal tunnel syndrome. It is also more common during pregnancy, after wrist injuries and in people who perform repetitive tasks with their hands.
Nonsurgical methods to help relieve the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include:
· Modifying or changing wrist movements
· Wearing a wrist splint and
· Taking anti-inflammatory medications
If these treatment methods fail to provide relief of the symptoms, an injection of steroids around the nerve can be used. However, since these nonsurgical methods have not provided significant relief of your symptoms, your doctor feels that a carpal tunnel release is appropriate for your situation.

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