Carpal tunnel syndrome is the clinical translation of compression of the median nerve at the wrist. This nerve innervates the hand on the sensory plane (thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger) and motor (muscles of the base of the thumb).
The nerve and flexor tendons pass through a bony canal (the carpal tunnel) which is covered with a thick ligament (the anterior ring ligament). Any increase in pressure in the carpal tunnel causes nerve pain.
Symptoms may decrease with medical treatment. In case of associated pathology (diabetes, hypothyroidism, …), the treatment of the disease usually relieves carpal tunnel syndrome.
The rest of the hand concerned, a correct working position, or even wearing a brace of rest can help reduce the compression of the median nerve.
Intra-ductal infiltration can also relieve symptoms.
If signs persist or worsen, surgical treatment should be used. The purpose of the surgery is to cut the ligament covering the nerve, to reduce the pressure. The consequences are usually simple, the patient can resume a light activity in the week following the intervention. The force recovers in 6 to 12 weeks. Healing of the incision is complete in 15 to 21 days.