From the perspective of a hand surgeon, sure it's always better to avoid surgery if you can, and many people can with proper modification in use of the hand, including good choice of seating when using a keyboard, proper posture and hand position, possibly foot lumbar and wrist supports, stretching and massage, proper breathing and stress relief, possibly vitamin B6, splinting etc... So there are lots of non-surgical options that should be explored. Just beware of any "quick fix" solutions.For the most part these need to be part of a more comprehensive approach.

Having said that, a lot will depend on the individual case in terms of what the demands are on the patient's hands, and not just at work i.e hobbies, sports, cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of children or parents etc.. A lot will also depend on the severity of the condition i.e how much pain, sensory loss, strength loss. Are you dropping things, getting woken at night, problem when you drive etc..?

Evaluation also needs to make sure you have the right diagnosis. Many people think they have carpal tunnel syndrome when in fact it is something else, possibly a neck issue or tendonitis or arthritis or something else. Yet other people have more than one problem going on at once i.e carpal tunnel and a trigger finger etc.. Some people also have associated diabetes or thyroid problems. So many things have to be taken into consideration.

Having said all that, in situations where all else fails or if it is an advanced case, surgery is typically successful. Of course each surgeon is different like with anything in life. Typically I do surgery under local anesthesia with some light sedation, one hand at a time on an ambulatory basis. There are many patients who feel incredibly better the same day as the surgery, while some cases can take longer because the nerve has to "regenerate" But almost everyone has siginificant improvement.

Any surgery can have complications but as surgeries go the complication rate is very low. For my patients the scar is quite small and while it can be tender the first month or so it is very rarely an issue. My patients typically have a bandage on for two weeks and for those two weeks can use the hand but need to keep the bandage dry. Back in the office two weeks after the surgery the bandage comes off, stitches come out and they get just a band aid and exercise instructions.

If you have questions please contact us at 516-280-5844