What is Carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (also known as CTS) is a condition which causes pain, and reduces sensation in your hand and wrist. It can also restrict movement.

CTS is a common condition which affects up to 16% of the UK. Women are three times more likely than men to develop CTS.

What causes Carpal Tunnel syndrome?

The median nerve is one of the three major nerves of the forearm and hand. Excess pressure on your wrist can cause inflammation, resulting in the Median nerve becoming compressed.

The risk of developing CTS is not confined to people in a single job role or lifestyle. Research looking into what causes CTS is still ongoing.

An assessment can generally give you an idea of possible causes. Causes can include –

  • Heavy demand or overuse of the wrists
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis of the wrist
  • Injury to the wrist
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Underactive thyroid glands
  • Medications

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve.

CTS treatment

A medical history and physical examination will determine diagnosis as well as cause. A personalised treatment plan including ultrasound-guided injection. Tailored physiotherapy and advice on lifestyle changes is available to our clients.

We will also look into contributing factors such as posture, working environment and activities. As a result in compression through the forearm or wrist. In doing this we can alleviate symptoms, reduce stress and strain.

Our assessment also includes an ultrasound scan of the median nerve which may highlight if there is any thickening or structural issues. This will help us determine if an ultrasound guided steroid injection is likely to be helpful.

Other non-surgical treatments include:-

  • Over-the-counter drugs and prescription medicines
  • Splinting
  • Physiotherapy
  • Cool packs

 

Carpal tunnel syndrome - Ultrasound scan being performed on an elbow

CTS ultrasound-guided injections

Ultrasound-guided injections can be very effective for the treatment of CTS.

Corticosteroid injected using ultrasound, provides high precision, maximising the effectiveness, consequently reducing complications and side effects.

Corticosteroid

Often referred to as an steroid, Corticosteroid is an anti-inflammatory medicine.

One of the most commonly used treatments in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it is extremely safe. Ultrasound guided injections are a well practised procedure here at Complete Injections.

CTS surgical treatment

There are two types of surgery for CTS, open release surgery as well as endoscopic. Both of which involve severing a ligament around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

Although the surgery is very short (20-30 minutes), the recovery time is between 4-6 weeks and will include physiotherapy.

NHS spending cuts to include treatment of CTS

In November 2018, NHS England issued new guidance to CCGs to restrict 17 surgical procedures.

Hip replacements, cat­aracts, injections for lower back pain and CTS release are among a list of surgical operations that will no longer routinely be carried out.

A British Medical Journal investigation, found that 1,700 applications for knee and hip surgery were rejected in 2017-18 in England. An increase of 45% from the previous year.

While some patients are offered the treatment at cost, other more severe cases will still be treated.

Although there has been no wholesale privatisation of the NHS, spending with private sector providers in 2016-17 equalled a massive £9 billion.

If you find yourself subject to NHS budget cuts and wanting to seek private treatment, please contact us.

alternatively, find out more about our Carpal tunnel syndrome services.

2019-07-02T11:00:54+00:00