Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common nerve entrapment syndrome in the US. Nearly 20 million people suffer from this condition. It results from compression of the median nerve as it courses through the wrist with flexor tendons. The carpal tunnel or transverse carpal ligament is a band of tissue that runs transversely across the wrist, and functions to hold flexor tendons against the wrist as they glide. The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome remains unknown in the vast majority of patients. However it is known that once symptoms develop, they generally progress with age. It is hypothesized that repetitive motion or overuse causes inflammation within the tunnel that results in compression of the median nerve. Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, aching, and weakness.
Symptoms which are considered early are generally treated with non-invasive measures such as splinting, rest, elevation and observation. More advanced cases, where there is weakness resulting in the patient dropping objects, or wasting of muscles involved with thumb function, may require surgery. If you have symtpoms such as these you may be suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Surgical options include endoscopic carpal tunnel release, where a 1cm incision is made at the flexion crease at the wrist and a MicroAire endoscope is used to visualize and protect the median nerve and flexor tendons, and then cut the transverse carpal ligament with a blade attached to the endoscope.
Open surgery entails making an incision directly over the transverse carpal ligament, and excising the ligament directly while visualizing and protecting the nerve and tendons.
Recovery requires about 2 weeks with open surgery and 1 week with endoscopic surgery. Results of the procedure can vary depending on the extent of nerve damage that existed prior to surgery. This is because the surgery functions only to relieve pressure on the nerve, but is not meant to repair the nerve itself.
Dr. Capuano consistently achieves excellent results with Carpal TUnnels. He is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and he would be happy to discuss your options if you are thinking about Carpal Tunnel Surgery.
Contact the office of the Northern Center for Plastic Surgery at (201)820-5280 to schedule an appointment.