Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed under the transverse carpal ligament and cannot perform its normal functions. The name of the groove-shaped structure surrounded by bones and ligaments on the inside of the wrist is the carpal tunnel. The median nerve passes from the wrist to the fingers together with the flexor tendons (finger bending beams). The median nerve provides the feeling of the fingers and the thumb zooming movement. As a result of pressure on the median nerve in this tunnel, complaints of pain, burning, numbness, limitation of movement, and thinning of the muscles occur in the hand.
What are the causes?
It is more common in people who work in jobs that have to use their hands intensively. Vibrating tool use is common in people who engage in activities that put pressure on the wrist or require the wrist to remain bent. Carpal tunnel syndrome may occur in cases such as hand and wrist trauma, wrist fracture or dislocation, rheumatological diseases, obesity, pregnancy and post-menopause.
What are the complaints?
There may be symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, burning in the hands and fingers, and dropping objects in the hand.
How is it diagnosed?
Patients with the aforementioned complaints first apply to an Orthopedics and Traumatology specialist and are diagnosed after being examined. Electromyography (EMG) is used as a diagnostic method. Again, if necessary, wrist radiography or MRI can be performed.
Treatment in carpal tunnel syndrome is determined by the severity of the disease and the general condition of the patient. It is important to make a diagnosis quickly when the complaints start, and to evaluate and implement the treatment options. As time passes, the patient’s complaints and the severity of the disease will increase.
Especially in mild cases, drug therapy, reduction of wrist and hand activities, use of splints and injection into the carpal tunnel can be applied in the initial period of the disease.
Surgical treatment is preferred in patients who do not benefit from these treatments. In carpal tunnel surgery, the carpal ligament is cut after an incision of approximately 3-4 centimeters from the inside of the hand and wrist, and the median nerve is loosened in the tunnel. After the surgery, one can return to daily life with 1-2 weeks of rest, and most of the complaints are relieved quickly, especially in pain and burning.