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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

wristpainCarpal Tunnel Syndrome can be incapacitating and make work or sleeping difficult. Typical symptoms of carpal tunnel include pain along the wrist and hand with numbness in the thumb, index, and long finger. As the pressure on the nerve continues, more nerve cells can die resulting in more pain and eventually in muscle loss. At Florida Plastic Surgery Group, the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome begins with nonoperative measures to help diminish and eliminate the numbness and pain. Wrist splints and occupational therapy exercises can be extremely beneficial in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.

However, in some patients, surgical release of the transverse carpal ligament is required. The surgery is performed either under local anesthesia or with some mild sedation. A small 2.5–3 cm incision is made in your palm and the ligament is released with the use of special magnification glasses to ensure no injury to the underlying median nerve. Most patients will have immediate relief of their numbness and tingling, but relief may take longer in some patients.

Our hand surgery team will help you decide which application best suits your needs. At the Florida Plastic Surgery Group, we believe that patients, their desires, and anatomy are all unique. Therefore, our plastic surgeons evaluate each patient and create a customized surgical plan for all of their patients.

Preparing for Your Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Who is a candidate for a carpal tunnel release?
Men and women who suffer hand pain and numbness consistent with compression of the median nerve are candidates for carpal tunnel release.

How do I prepare for my carpal tunnel surgery?
We ask patients to stop taking medications that may increase bleeding including aspirin, Plavix, NSAIDS (i.e. ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, etc), and herbal supplements like vitamin E. Patients should be in good health and ensure they have their blood pressure controlled.

Recovering After Your Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Our hand surgery team will help ensure a rapid recovery. As you heal, it is important to keep well hydrated and nourished, as nutrition is an important part of healing.

Patients can remove their soft dressing in 2-3 days and should keep their hand/hands elevated during this time period. After the dressing is removed you can shower and clean the incision with warm water and soap. Keeping the incision moist with some antibiotic ointment can accelerate the healing process. You should also begin range of motion exercises when you pain is controlled (2-3 days after surgery).

As the incision begins to heal (typically after 3 weeks), there are a number of things you can use to help minimize the size and appearance of the scar. Massaging the scar with firm finger pressure will help the scar blend in and decrease the swelling.

Insurance for Your Hand Surgery

Our hand surgery team will work with you to ensure your treatment and surgery are covered by your insurance company. Pre-authorization from your insurance company is generally required. At Florida Plastic Surgery Group, our office staff will work with you and act as your advocate to the insurance company.

If you would like to learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome pain relief, please contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our doctors.