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Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Decompression
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- You may need endoscopic surgery for your carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder where a nerve in your wrist is compressed (pressed in). When you have CTS, may have a pins-and-needles feeling in your wrist and hands. You will have pain or numbness in at least 2 fingers, including your thumb, index, or middle finger. At night, you may wake up with pain or weakness in your hand or wrist. You may have CTS because you use your wrist in the same way again and again. Diseases like arthritis or diabetes may also cause CTS. Your caregiver may suggest endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery (ECTS) if other treatments do not work for you.
- ECTS is a closed surgery, which means that your caregiver will do the surgery from inside your wrist. That way, your caregiver does not have to cut down into your wrist. Instead, he uses an endoscope that has a camera to help him see inside your wrist. The carpal ligament is a band of tissue that connects joints in your wrist. Cutting this ligament decreases the pressure on the nerves in your wrist. Having an ECTS may improve your symptoms and help you to function better. ECTS may improve the strength of your grip and your pinch. It may also decrease your time off from work due to pain and weakness caused by CTS.
- Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
- You will need to visit your caregiver a few days after your surgery. Your caregiver will check if your hand is healing well. He may also do tests to see how well your hand and wrist move. Your caregiver will check how well you can grip and pinch. During this visit or another follow up visit, your caregiver may remove your stitches and bandages. Your caregiver will also let you know when to stop wearing your splint.
- Activity: Always follow your caregiver's advice on how to exercise and strengthen your hand.
- Elevation: Raise your arm with the affected hand often for 1 to 2 days. This helps decrease the swelling and pain, and improves blood flow.
- Ice: Your caregiver may want you to put ice on your wrist and hand. This may help decrease your pain and swelling. Do not sleep with the ice pack on your wrist.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have chills.
- You feel weak or achy.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- Your finger becomes stuck in the same position.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery or medicine.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have a fever.
- Your bandages are soaked with blood.
- You cannot feel or move your hand.
- You feel a lump or swelling in your wrist.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.