Saying that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a problematic injury to sustain would be an understatement. According to OSHA, repetitive strain injuries like Carpal Tunnel are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation. That is one expensively common injury!
Unfortunately, many people who experience Carpal Tunnel also come to need surgery in order to repair the damaged
What is Carpal Tunnel
Carpal Tunnel is typically discovered when a you experiences pain, tingling and other similar sensations in your hands. These sensations are due to pressure being placed on the median nerve in your wrist. This nerve, along with other tendons run from your forearm into your hand through a small opening in your wrist
Why Do People Get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the pressure on the tendons that run through the Carpal Tunnel, and this pressure can be influenced by things like:
-Illnesses like hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or diabetes
-Repeated movements of your hand or wrist over the course of a long period of time.
-Smoking reduces blood flow to the median nerve, which can cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery
Most people that experience Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are treated with a surgical procedure, especially if:
-Symptoms continue with little to no improvement over the course of a long period of time (several weeks/months)
-There is nerve damage or the threat of nerve damage
-Severe symptoms that are restricting daily activities.
Types of Carpal Tunnel Surgery
There are a couple of commonly used surgeries to treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Open Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery - This allows the surgeon to gain greater access to the problematic tissues. This includes the transverse carpal ligament where it needs to be surgically removed. The incision goes from the palm to the wrist which mean a greater amount of time is necessary for recovery. The benefit is that there is a decreased risk of complications.
Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery - This is the other primary option when it comes to Carpal Tunnel Surgery. This process is executed by making two small incisions at the wrist, either both at the wrist (single-portal technique) or one at the wrist and one at the palm (two-portal technique). This procedure is less invasive and recovery time is shorter, but there is a greater chance of the problem coming up again.
Like we said earlier, Carpal Tunnel is taking a major toll on the American workforce. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Carpal tunnel syndrome results in the highest number of days lost among all work related injuries. Almost half of the carpal tunnel cases result in 31 days or more of work loss. If you want to see more statistics on Carpal Tunnel, please see the article titled,"11 Astounding Carpal Tunnel Statistics."