Carpal tunnel syndrome, also known as CTS, is a common condition of the hand, whereby, for reasons not yet fully understood, the median nerve of the hand becomes increasingly compressed and limited in its function.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain in the hand during the night, accompanied by a feeling of numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers. The problem may be initially relieved by non-surgical treatments such as exercises that involve shaking the hand, a splint to immobilise the wrist or cortisone injections into the carpal tunnel. If symptoms persist, a neurological examination will be undertaken to assess nerve conduction velocity. Then, depending on the outcome of this test, surgical intervention may also be considered as an option. Well-established techniques from plastic surgery and hand surgery are available for this.
The procedure can be performed under regional anaesthetic. The compressed nerve is released via a five-centimetre-long incision made between the thumb and the base of the little finger. We recommend spending a night in the clinic after carpal tunnel surgery. The hand should also be rested for about four weeks following surgery. Post-operative pain usually improves quickly, although a feeling of numbness in the fingers may persist for a while, depending on how long the individual has had the condition.
Facts and figures
|Length of operation:||30 minutes|
|Anaesthetic:||Local or regional anaesthetic|
|Length of stay at the clinic:||1 night|
|Post-operative treatment: ||Bandage for 1 week, rest for around 4 weeks, then increasing use possible|
|Ready to socialise:||After 1 week|
|Back to school or work:||After 2 to 3 weeks|
|Sport:||Resume after 4 weeks|
|Costs:||Cost coverage must be requested from your health insurance company|