Should I have
carpal tunnel surgery?

Should I have carpal tunnel surgery?

There are several things you will need to consider when trying to decide if you should have carpal tunnel surgery or not.

I have broken it down into 6 basic categories that you will need to look at and discuss with your doctor or surgeon.

1) Do you have persistent numbness and pain in the hands and fingers from carpal tunnel syndrome for at least 2-3 months?

2) Do you have decreased grip, pinching or grasping strength? (i.e. Is it difficult to open jars and bottles, or button your pants?)

3) Is your thumb muscle (Thenar eminence) flattened or "spongy" feeling when pinching thumb and index fingers together...instead of being firm?

4) Do you have positive NCS/EMG results for carpal tunnel syndrome that are read as moderate to severe in nature? (Keep in mind that while it's not common, you can have symptomatic median nerve compression with normal elecrodiagnostic studies. 5) Consistent Nonsurgical or Conservative treatment is NOT controlling or helping your carpal tunnel symptoms after 2-3 months.

6) Has your overall quality of life, regarding your hand activities decreased and/or is getting worse? (i.e. Not able to sleep well due to symptoms, unable to do activities of daily living without difficulty or pain, unable to do hobbies, play with children etc...)

Should I have carpal tunnel surgery?

If you answered "YES" to one or more of these questions, then you most likely will need carpal tunnel surgery or at least a surgical consult.

There are other factors that may be specific to your particular case which may also influence the question "Should I have carpal tunnel surgery?" Things like the risk factors we have talked about, your age, prior surgery complications etc..However, these 6 questions are by far the most important questions that pertains to almost every case of carpal tunnel syndrome when you are trying to decide whether you need carpal tunnel surgery or not.

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