Carpal Tunnel & Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
What are the most common types of nerve compression?
The most common nerve compressions are in the hand and elbow:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (median nerve)
- Cubital tunnel syndrome (ulnar nerve)
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition due to compression of the median nerve in your hand. Patients have complaints of pain, numbness, or dropping objects with their hands.
Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when the ulnar nerve gets compressed at the elbow. This causes numbness in the small and ring fingers and can lead to loss of muscle tone in the hand.
Not every patient with one of these conditions needs surgery. Some patients are able to recover with non-invasive treatment options, such as splints or avoiding certain positions of the hand or elbow. Dr. Weinheimer helps you compare treatment options and determine which would be most effective for your condition.
When do patients need surgery?
Surgery for nerve compressions, such as carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome, is needed when other conservative treatments are no longer effective. There are also other conditions that can cause similar symptoms. To determine whether surgery is the right choice for you, Dr. Weinheimer performs a thorough physical examination and reviews your medical history carefully. Most of the time Dr. Weinheimer will order a nerve conduction study (NCS) and Electromyography (EMG) to evaluate the health of the nerve.
What are the risks?
Carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel surgery carry risks similar to most other surgical procedures, including:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Postoperative pain
- Infection at the surgical site
- Damage to surrounding tissues
In some cases, surgery may not be successful, and you may continue experiencing symptoms even after your recovery period. However, as an experienced hand and upper extremity surgeon, Dr. Weinheimer knows how to perform these procedures as safely and effectively as possible.
How fast do patients recover from nerve release surgery?
The recovery from minimally invasive surgery is usually quicker than with open surgery, but you still have some downtime after the procedure. Most patients will go home the day of surgery. Most patients can resume their normal activities within two weeks. Before scheduling your surgery, Dr. Weinheimer explains your expected recovery time, as well as the instructions you must follow while you heal. Following all these instructions carefully ensures that you recover from the procedure as quickly as possible.