carpaltunnelThe carpal tunnel is a passageway through the wrist carrying tendons and one of the hand’s major nerves. Pressure may build up within the tunnel because of disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis), injury, fluid retention during pregnancy, overuse, or repetitive motions. The resulting pressure on the nerve within the tunnel causes a tingling sensation in the hand, often accompanied by numbness, aching, and impaired hand function. This is known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In some cases, splinting of the hand, cortisone injection and anti-inflammatory medications will relieve the problem. If this doesn’t work, however, surgery may be required. During the operation, the surgeon makes an incision from the middle of the palm to the wrist. The tissue that’s pressing on the nerve will be loosened, in order to release the pressure. A large dressing and splint are used, after surgery, to restrict motion and promote healing. The surgical scar will gradually fade and may become barely visible.

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