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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a relatively common condition causing pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers, normally the thumb, middle or index finger.

A range of treatments are available to ease the pain induced by carpal tunnel syndrome and help restore normal function.

Causes

It is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist which is responsible for carrying physical sensations such as touch from your hand and carrying nerve signals from the brain to the hand. The nerve can become compressed if the tissues in inside the tunnel become swollen or the tunnel narrows over time. Risk factors include family history, conditions such as diabetes, under active thyroid gland or rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy and wrist injuries.

Symptoms

The symptoms develop gradually and are more evident at night or early in the morning. Patients can experience a dull ache and discomfort in the hand reaching up the forearm to the upper arm. A burning, prickling sensation, swelling or dry skin may also occur. Repetitive actions of the hand and wrist can aggravate the symptoms.

Diagnosis

A GP will initially want to assess hand and wrist flexibility and test for sensitivity looking for muscle weakness. A blood test, detailed nerve study using electrode, or an ultrasound scan may also be used to judge the extent of the condition.

Treatment

Sometimes it improves without treatment with the symptoms subsiding after a few months, but a range of surgical and non-surgical techniques are available that can relieve pressure on the median nerve. A consultant is best placed to judge the best treatment as the symptoms and pathways vary from patient to patient. A wrist splint can provide relief in a few weeks and corticosteroid injections help reduce inflammation.

Carpal tunnel release surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis with a reliable keyhole surgery procedure under local anaesthetic. The surgeon can make tiny modifications to the ligaments allowing a complete and permanent cure.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 0207 078 3887.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

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