Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in the wrist when the surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles compress the median nerve causing pain. The risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome does not come from single industry or job, but is especially common in those performing assembly line work, such as manufacturing. However, it can come from any repetitive motion—from painting, to golfing, tennis or computer work.
Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, perhaps because the carpal tunnel itself may be smaller in women than in men. Persons with diabetes or other metabolic disorders that directly affect the body’s nerves and make them more susceptible to compression are also at high risk.
When symptoms persist after a long period of nonsurgical treatment, and/or restrict normal activities, even sleep, surgery may be indicted. This is true with any symptoms of ongoing nerve damage. Carpal tunnel release surgery is done to reduce the pressure on the median nerve of the wrist.
There are two types: open carpal tunnel release surgery, which allows the surgeon to see more of the inner tissues, and endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, which requires only a small incision at the wrist (single-portal technique) or at the wrist and palm (two-portal technique).