Carpal Tunnel Home > Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Options Other Than Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Several alternative treatments exist for treating carpal tunnel syndrome. Your doctor will usually start with the most conservative (or most cautious and safe) treatment. If your symptoms are not relieved with conservative treatment, surgery is usually recommended.
  • Activity changes
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Wearing a splint for a period of time
  • Steroid shots given directly to the area surrounding the nerve.
Conservative treatment is usually tried for 8 to 12 weeks. However, if there is significant loss of muscle to the thumb or significant median nerve damage, carpal tunnel surgery might be suggested sooner.

Final Thoughts

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of increased pressure on the median nerve inside the wrist. It has multiple causes and can often be treated by conservative treatment methods. When conservative treatment is unsuccessful, surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament is often recommended.
Carpal tunnel surgery is a proven surgical procedure with predictable results and relatively low risk. A majority of people gain significant (if not total) improvement in their symptoms as a result of this procedure.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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