Category: Spine Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: October 6, 2015
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes pain and numbness in the hands. It is a common repetitive stress injury, but can it also be caused by spinal surgery? In this article we are going to discuss the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome after spine surgery.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a condition that can lead to numbness, tingling, and pain in the hands and fingers. The carpal tunnel is a small channel at the base of your wrist through which nerves pass from your arm into your hand. Various factors (such as repetitive stress injuries) can cause this tunnel to narrow and put pressure on these nerves, which can lead to pain, and loss of sensation in the hands.
Can Carpal Tunnel Occur after Spine Surgery?
One of the biggest risks of any surgery is nerve damage. Nerves are incredibly complex. Damaging a nerve in the spine can lead to issues in the feet and hands. However, even though carpal tunnel is a nerve-related condition, it stems from nerve damage in the hand and wrist – not the spine. Specifically, the narrowing of the carpal tunnel in the wrist pinches nerves and causes tingling, numbness, and other symptoms. Damage to a nerve in the spinal column wouldn’t directly cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
With all that said, a patient may experience symptoms of carpal tunnel after their spine surgery. A nerve that is disturbed during the course of a minimally invasive spine procedure may lead to tingling, numbness, or loss of feeling in the hands. Typically these symptoms will go away as the patient recovers from surgery.
A recurring sensation of numbness or tingling in your hands is no laughing matter. It could indicate carpal tunnel, or other nerve damage. If you experience these symptoms make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor right away to assess your condition and offer options for treatment.