Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) can be caused by any factor that contributes to increased pressure within the carpal tunnel, ofter from swollen synovium of the flexor tendons. It can also occur following wrist trauma.
Swelling and inflammation within the carpal tunnel compress the median nerve, reducing the blood flow and oxygen supply to the nerve, slowing the transmission of nerve signals through the carpal tunnel.
In the early phases of treatment night time splinting and nerve glides with a hand therapist may be effective at controlling symptoms. As time goes on however, the compression progresses to possibly damage the nerve requiring the need for surgical release.
In more severe cases Carpal Tunnel Release (*CTR) may be required. The goal of surgery is to decompress the median nerve by creating more space within the carpal tunnel. Dividing the transverse carpal ligament, or the roof of the carpal tunnel does this. A small incision is made at the base of the palm to divide the transverse carpal ligament. The ligament is then allowed to retract back to each side and scar down naturally. The goal of a carpal tunnel release is to decompress the median nerve and surrounding structures within the carpal tunnel.
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