Although slowly, carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen over time if it remains untreated. As a result, medical evaluation is recommended as early as possible. Early treatment can slow or even stop the progression of the disease in some cases.
- Bracing/Splinting: Wearing a brace or splint at night keeps the wrists from bending during sleep. Keeping the wrist in straight or neutral positions reduces pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel. Wearing a splint during the day when engaged in activities that aggravate the symptoms is also recommended.
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Activity Change: Symptoms often occur as the result of a patient having a hand and/or wrist in the same position for long periods of time, particularly when they are extended or flexed.
If non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful in reducing symptoms your doctor may recommend surgical treatment.
The procedure for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is called Carpal Tunnel Release. There are two forms of the procedure, and the desired outcome for both is to release pressure on the median nerve.
- Open Carpal Tunnel Release: During the procedure, the doctor will divide the transverse carpal ligament (the roof of the carpal tunnel), increasing the size of the tunnel and subsequently decreasing pressure on the median nerve.
- Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release: A special knife is used to divide the transverse carpal ligament, similar to the open carpal tunnel release procedure.