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A 37-year-old member asked:

how long does carpal tunnel syndrome usually last?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Tuckman
Hand Surgery 23 years experience
Years: Carpal tunnel syndrome can last for months to years. In some patients it can resolve on its own but in most it will progress. If your symptoms are getting worse see a hand surgeon for an evaluation. You always want to catch it before you have permanent nerve damage.
Dr. Eon Shin
Dr. Eon Shin answered
Hand Surgery 20 years experience
It varies: Carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated with splint immobilization. When symptoms are severe, surgical decompression is recommended.
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Hand Surgery 35 years experience
VariesI : I always tell patients that the time to healing is variable in that no two patients are exactly the same. However typically you can go back to light activites within a few days to a few weeks and heavy activity in 4-6 weeks. Of course this is job and activity dependent. If you are a sedentary office worker its a lot different than a plumber or machinist. General health also affects return to function. If you have diabetes, are a smoker or have fibromyalgia or an inflammatory condition you may have an extended time period. Healing means different things to people. Some take it to imply return to activity others return of normal sensation. I take time to clarify these two questions before surgery. Will my sensation come back or be normal after surgery? While the goal of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the nerve not everyone will respond the same to surgery some patients will have immediate return of sensation while some will take longer. Some will notice an improvement right away but still feel tingling and will describe this as "numb" the return of sensation is dependent on many factors including age, general health, duration of symptoms, circulation and the actual mechanical severity of compression. In very severe cases while decompressing the nerve stops the carpal tunnel syndrome from getting worse, full recovery of sensation may not be possible. Often this is seen in patients who have muscle wasting noted prior to surgery and in those with longstanding complete numbness and elevated two-point discrimination. Of course there are many in these categories that improve despite having very severe cases. Having a severe case where you are not sure if you'd have full recovery is not a reason to put off surgery, as progression is likely if nothing is done. How about my strength? This is a very difficult question as there are many reasons why a hand with carpal tunnel may not feel as strong. It may be that the decreased sensation in the fingers prevents someone from knowing how tight to hold and object and that object is dropped more easily. With return of sensation or even a slight improvement in sensation, dropping objects becomes less of a problem. Some severe cases of carpal tunnel can be associated with atrophy in the muscles of the hand. In some severe cases, this muscle will never fully recover. However despite loss of muscle, function can still be preserved. In very severe cases a suregon may recommend a tendon or muscle transfer to improve function. So the short answer is its variabole, the long answer above. The best thing is to ask your surgeon what to expect. This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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A 22-year-old member asked:

What is the frequency of the carpal tunnel syndrome?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Julian Bragg
Neurology 17 years experience
Very common: It is the most common peripheral entrapment neuropathy, and will affect approximately 5% of the population at some point in their lifetime. In fact, one autopsy study on people without any history of hand symptoms whatsoever, found that almost all of them had some degree of nerve damage in the carpal tunnel.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Can you please explain carpal tunnel syndrome?

5 doctor answers20 doctors weighed in
Dr. Claude Parola
Internal Medicine 40 years experience
Nerve pain in wrist: There is a space( carpal tunnel) in the wrist area where the median nerve passes through to innervate the 5th, 4th and the lateral half of middle fingers; when this nerve is compressed at the level of this area(the carpal tunnel), probably due to overuse, typing, prolong use of keyboard, one can develop sharp, burning and tingling sensation on the affected hand and fingers( carpal tunnel syndrome).
A 21-year-old member asked:

I type a lot. Can that cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Gluck
Hand Surgery 39 years experience
Yes: Any activity where the wrist is moving up and down or if it is held in a bent position for a long time can put added pressure on the median nerve and thereby cause symptoms of tingling, numbnes, and pain i.E carpal tunnel symptoms. But if you are typing alot you need to be aware of many things besides just wrist position or you risk other rsi related problems. Good luck.
A 22-year-old member asked:

Does carpal tunnel syndrome mean I can't use the computer?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
No: Absolutely not. You can still use a computer. Your doctor, however, will teach you about special exercises to do, may prescribe a brace, or coach you on when to take breaks to mitigate the pain caused by the carpal tunnel syndrome.
A 21-year-old member asked:

If I have carpal tunnel syndrome is it permanent?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brandon Zabukovic
Family Medicine 19 years experience
No: Standard therapy for carpal tunnel is: 1) night splints, 2) anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen or naproxen, 3) avoidance of the repetitive activities that caused the carpal tunnel syndrome. Sometimes, we inject steroids into the area of the carpal tunnel. Failing these treatments, we usually recommend a surgery called carpal tunnel release. In most cases, your symptoms will resolve.

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