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Carpal Tunnel Surgery: Types, Prognosis, and Outcomes

Conservative wrist pain treatment is better than the carpal tunnel surgery. Visit us today for a targeted non-invasive treatment option.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery in operating room.CTS Surgery (Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Pain Syndrom) 

The carpal tunnel surgery is a common procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons. But, it is important to point out that conservative treatments are just as effective as the carpal tunnel surgery. In fact, non-surgical carpal tunnel treatment is said to be more effective when compared to surgical intervention for carpal tunnel patients. Published researchers in reputable journals recommend manual therapy, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments for a patient with carpal tunnel. Invasive procedures like the carpal tunnel surgery can have risks and complications that can be avoided with a targeted method of conservative treatments.

In this section of our website, we will provide you with information about the carpal tunnel surgery so that you can make an informed decision. Majority of carpal tunnel patients in Malaysia seek consultation with a hand surgeon. Hand surgeons are surgical specialists who are well aware of invasive options. Some may not be as familiar with conservative or non-surgical treatment options. So, if you have a carpal tunnel syndrome, which the surgeon has recommended surgery, visit us and learn about your non-surgical options. The vast majority of carpal tunnel patients treated in our center improve significantly within one month. Please bear with us as we briefly review of carpal tunnel syndrome before we go over the carpal tunnel surgery.

Wrist anatomy involved in carpal tunnel surgery Wrist Pain, Carpal Tunnel and a Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel is a narrow space or passageway in the front of the wrist; the bones and ligaments of the wrist give rise to the carpal tunnel (passageway). The wrist bones make up the floor of the carpal tunnel, whereas a thick connective tissue known as the flexor retinaculum establishes the roof, creating a tunnel. Structures found in the carpal tunnel include tendons, blood vessels, and the median nerve. The median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel gives sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the fourth finger. It also supplies the muscles of the thumb. Repetitive movements of the wrist or sudden injury can irritate the tissues as well as the median nerve leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, burning sensation, and pain.

Symptoms emerge when the median nerve is irritated or compressed. Depending on the severity of compression (irritation), you may also experience weakness in wrist, hand, and fingers. The combined or standalone symptoms mentioned are commonly known as the carpal tunnel syndrome. There is a verity of tests for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Accurate diagnosis is needed for successful clinical outcomes.

Open Carpal Tunnel surgery exposes soft tissues.CTS Surgery or Therapy: Which is better and WHY?

When all the non-invasive conservative treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms, surgery can become an option. The type of surgical intervention depends on your surgeon and of course the severity of your given condition.

An open carpal tunnel release is the surgical procedure performed by cutting the skin at the base of the palm to expose the transverse carpal ligament. The surgeon cuts portions of the transverse carpal ligament to reduce the pressure on the median nerve. The incision will be closed with stitches. The gap in the cut ligament will be covered by scar tissues as it starts to heal.

Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery.Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery also targets the transverse carpal ligament. However, there is only one or two small incision being made to insert the thin tube. The endoscopic camera and the cutting tools may be attached to one single thin tube, or they can be connected to two separate thin tubes. Comparison of the open versus the endoscopic procedures in multiple studies has shown favorable results with the endoscopic method, especially in the short-term. The endoscopic method involves less cutting and as such lesser degree of scar tissue. However, it must be understood that even the most minimal of surgical interventions yield scar tissues, which often cause flare-ups later.

Open Wrist Surgery Versus the Endoscopic Surgery

The recovery time needed for endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery is typically shorter than the open surgery. The symptoms in the fingers and hand may disappear gradually over a period. A note of caution should be mentioned here: Carpal Tunnel Surgery should only be performed where there is significant muscle weakness noted or when the conservative management failed to provide any relief. It must be kept in mind that the open or the endoscopic surgical methods or surgical interventions do not constitute a cure. These are a measure taken to relieve pressure. Often most that have had a carpal tunnels surgery will experience a re-flare-up of their condition.

Are there any Complications to the Wrist Surgery?

With any invasive procedure, there are risks. Similarly, the carpal tunnel surgery has some risks and even complications involved. Even with successful surgery, there is still a possibility that the pre-surgery symptoms may recur. Scar tissue formation after the surgery is one of the factors that contribute to the median nerve irritation. Abnormalities of the median nerve noted during nerve conduction test measured by EMG may not return to normal even after the surgery. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy may develop after the surgery; causing further injury to the median nerve.

Which is Better Wrist Surgery or Non-Surgical Treatments?

Effective non-surgical treatments are always better. Even the least invasive surgical intervention leads to scar tissues, malfunction and eventually pain, months or years later. The one thing that everyone agrees is that surgery should be the absolute last option. Unfortunately, many doctors and patients alike opt for surgery prematurely when it comes to carpal tunnel treatment in Malaysia.

Our centers have been at the forefront of the spine and joint care. We have treated thousands of patients in pain successfully. In fact, we have helped many that others could not. Carpal tunnel treatment at our centers is through the integrative methods of care developed by our director; Dr. Yama Zafer. Dr. Yama (as his patients call him), is a Doctor of Chiropractic by training. He has extensive education, training, and certification in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and chiropractic. Dr. Yama has developed a multi-prong method of care that incorporates the best clinical practices of Shockwave therapy (ESWT Therapy), physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and chiropractic. Our combined collective methods of carpal tunnel treatment have benefited many who were told to have surgery.

If you have been told to have surgery or suffer from wrist pain, visit a Chiropractic Specialty Center® and discover how Dr. Yama’s methods of carpal tunnel treatment can help you recover without surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery is not your only option; we can help.

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