Nerve Compression Syndromes
Nerves are fragile and can be damaged by pressure, stretching, or cutting. Often, damaged nerves can be repaired, either by suturing two ends back together, or, if a piece is missing or badly damaged, by using a nerve graft to fill a gap. After surgical repair of the nerves, the fibers can begin to heal and re-grow. This process can take weeks to months, and proper follow up and hand therapy is generally necessary to ensure acceptable results.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is essentially a pinched nerve at the wrist. The carpal tunnel is the space where the median nerve and tendons pass from the forearm to the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is swelling in this tunnel putting pressure on the median nerve. Symptoms include numbness, tingling and pain. Symptoms may be relieved through therapy or wearing wrist splints. Steroid injections are also an option. If these treatments do not improve the condition, surgery may be required to release the carpal tunnel and take away pressure on the median nerve.
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is characterized by increased pressure on the ulnar nerve at the elbow (this is sometimes called the “funny bone”.) Pressure on the ulnar nerve can cause numbness, tingling and pain in the elbow, arm, hand and/or fingers. Depending on the severity of this condition, it can be treated non-surgically with therapy. If therapy does not improve the condition, surgery may be required to relieve the pressure on the ulnar nerve.