At Spire Manchester Hospital we have a number of highly skilled and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons. All of our orthopaedic surgeons are supported by a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses and physiotherapists, committed to providing high levels of care to all our patients.
We have a large range of diagnostic and treatment facilities on-site, including a radiology department should you require X-rays or scans and a physiotherapy department. In addition to this we have a specially trained orthopaedic theatre team and two laminar flow theatres, which use a constant stream of clean air to protect against the introduction of organisms which can cause infection.
For more information about the orthopaedic services and treatments offered at Spire Manchester Hospital please visit our orthopaedic surgery page.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition. In the United Kingdom approximately 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 2,000 of the population will undergo a carpal tunnel decompression per year. The condition is caused by compression of a nerve (the median nerve) in a tunnel (the carpal tunnel) as it enters the hand.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are usually of tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers. This usually starts at night. In later stages the condition can also be troublesome by day. Shaking or rubbing your hand may relieve symptoms.
What causes it?
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be caused by hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels), pregnancy and after a fracture of the wrist. Most cases are however spontaneous, with no obvious cause for them.
What should I do if I think that I may have carpal tunnel syndrome?
In the first instance you should consult your GP. If your general practitioner suspects that you may have carpal tunnel they may perform a number of simple and painless tests in the surgery. They may then refer you for a surgical opinion.
What can I expect if my GP refers me to hospital?
Your surgeon will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will examine your hand and may request special investigations in the form of nerve conduction studies. These are performed by a specialist neurophysiologist, who will confirm the diagnosis. If they do not suggest that you have carpal tunnel syndrome, further investigations may be indicated (for example an MR scan of the neck).
What can be done if it is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Treatment may be by splintage in mild cases, for the symptoms may sometimes resolve spontaneously. There is occasionally a role for steroid injection.
Surgery is usually a successful and gratifying treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. The operation involves a short (2 inch, 5cm) scar on the palm of the hand. This is usually performed as a day case procedure, under either general or local anaesthetic. As with all surgery there are some potential complications; your surgeon will discuss these with you at your initial consultation.
What should I look for when seeking treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome?
You may wish to consider whether your surgeon operates regularly on the condition. Many orthopaedic surgeons treat carpal tunnel syndrome and some surgeons specialise in hand surgery.
You may also wish to consider the convenience of being able to have nerve conductions studies performed in the same hospital.
What should I do if my GP has referred me for suspected carpal tunnel syndrome?
For insured patients, please contact our appointments team on 0161 232 2261 and ask for an appointment with one of our orthopaedic consultants which specialise in carpel tunnel.
Self-pay patients should call 0161 232 2303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment and for more information about the treatments and prices.