Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I have a hand surgery consultation to deal with my carpal tunnel?"
I am a 36 year old male with very bad carpal tunnel. Will surgery help
Surgery is certainly an option for patients suffering from severe carpal tunnel syndrome. However, surgery is typically only recommended for those patients that have tried and failed the more conservative medical therapy. First-line therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome (which is caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the wrist) includes immobilization and splinting of the wrist as much as possible. These splints are usually available at pharmacies and can be purchased over-the-counter. Additionally, measures should be taken to avoid extra stress on the wrist; purchasing a special ergonomic keyboard may help in this regard. Pain control can sometimes be achieved with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen. If these measures fail, some doctors will recommend steroid injections into the carpal tunnel to help relieve inflammation. You should ask your hand surgeon about this option as well as the risks and benefits of the median nerve release surgery.
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