Purpose – To treat inflammation around the median nerve of the wrist that connects the forearm to the hand. Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include;pain, inflammation, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist, occur when the nerve is pinched or overused.
Overview – Injections deliver a high dose of anesthetic and anti-inflammatory solution directly into the carpal tunnel. The physician may choose to use image guidance for this injection. While inflamation and symptoms decrease almost immediately, it is possible that symptoms may return after three or more months. If symptoms persist or return after one or two injections, the physician will most likely recommend surgery.
Before the procedure – The anti-inflammatory solution may increase blood sugars. Consult your primary care doctor or endocrinologist before this procedure if you have a history of elevated blood sugars.
Details – The procedure begins with the sterilization of the skin at the injection site. Once the accurate location is determined, the anesthetic and anti-inflammatory solutions are injected directly into the carpal tunnel space.
After the procedure – There may be numbness at the injection site and it may take 2-3 hours for pain to subside. Redness and a feeling of warmth may also occur. Apply ice as needed to relieve any pain from the injection and protect the injection area for a couple of days by avoiding strenuous activity. It is important to be aware of heightened pain, redness and swelling that lasts more than two days.
Potential complications – Osteonecrosis (death of nearby bone), infection, nerve damage, thinning of skin and tissue surrounding the injection site, pain and inflammation of the joint, tendon weakening or rupture, osteoporosis (nearby bone thinning), and skin discoloration around the injection site. Due to potential complications, physicians will limit the number of injections given to a patient based on the joint and the reason for treatment.