Carpal Tunnel Treatment
What is carpal tunnel treatment?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause chronic discomfort and loss of motor function in the wrist and hand. The goals of carpal tunnel treatment are to reduce pain, numbness, and tingling, and to prevent loss of motor function or disability in the affected areas.
Who is a good candidate for carpal tunnel treatment?
If you feel that the pain or other symptoms in your hand and wrist are affecting your quality of life, you may be a good candidate for carpal tunnel treatment. Additionally, if your symptoms have been present for more than six months and more conservative treatments (such as medication, brace, or physical therapy) haven’t helped, you should discuss your options with your doctor.
How carpal tunnel treatment works
Treatment options vary depending upon the severity of your CTS and preference.
Conservative treatments (mild to moderate CTS)
Most mild to moderate cases of CTS can be effectively managed with a combination of conservative treatments, including:
- Minimizing contributory factors such as repetitive use/strain
- Wrist splinting helps keep the wrist in a neutral position, limiting prolonged extension/flexion
- Glucocorticoids (steroids) can be taken orally or injected into the carpal tunnel to reduce inflammation
- Deep, pulsed ultrasound can be used to decrease pain and promote soft tissue healing
- Yoga has been shown to be effective for pain control
Surgical treatment (moderate to severe CTS)
For symptoms that do not improve with conservative therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome within six months, the definitive treatment for moderate or severe CTS is surgical decompression of the median nerve. Surgical intervention is generally more effective than conservative treatments with improvement in approximately 85-90% of cases. Surgery can be performed via an open incision or endoscopically.