Our iPhones are designed for continuous use—the smooth, gliding screen and instant response create the optimal scrolling experience. However, seemingly effortless and innocuous actions such as scrolling, typing, pressing, and holding the phone can turn detrimental if repeated constantly. Awkward hand placement and overuse can lead to repetitive strain injury (RSI), negatively affecting the wrist, hand, and fingers.
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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. In effect, it is a pinched nerve at the wrist. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers. There is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when pressure builds up from swelling in this tunnel and puts pressure on the nerve.
Once the decision has been made to have carpal tunnel surgery, there are generally two methods the surgey can be performed. There is the standard open approach or endoscopic. The open technique is used most often by surgeons and involves making an incision at the base of the palm about an inch long. The ligament over the nerve is found and cut to relieve pressure on the nerve.
The most important thing to have before undertaking carpal tunnel surgery or any surgery is the proper expectations. Your doctor should have explained to you that carpal tunnel surgery, while successful in alleviating many or most of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, cannot guarantee a complete recovery. The goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the median nerve in the palm and stop further nerve damage.
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