What Should You Know about Carpal Tunnel Injection?

It is steroid injection into the carpal tunnel area of the wrist which is usually prescribed due to entrapment of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.

What are the reasons for this procedure?

The main reason is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). In the normal state, the median nerve runs from the forearm into the hand without obstacles. When the CTS occur, this nerve is squeezed at the wrist, and it provokes painful feelings. Also, many patients complain about weakness, tingling, and numbness in the hand and wrist.

 How can carpal tunnel injection help?

Steroid injections into the carpal tunnel area bring substantial improvement. It provides an effect for three months or longer. For many patients, further treatment is not needed.

What complications can occur?  

Complications are usually rare, but unfortunately, there is no risk-free procedure. Your doctor will tell you in detail about the possible complications, such as:

  1.    Infection
  2.    No improvement in symptoms

What to expect before the procedure?

First of all, your doctor will ask what medications you take. If you do, list all of them to avoid negative consequences. Second of all, the doctor will specify whether you have any allergies to medications. After all the details are clarified, a specialist will give you an injection of local anesthetic to the numb area.

What to expect during the procedure?

The doctor will prepare a needle with corticosteroid medication which calms the inflammation. Your palm will be placed facing upward, and inside area of your wrist will be cleaned to get rid of dirt and avoid infection. The needle with the medication will be inserted into the cleaned area of the wrist. It will take few minutes to inject the medication.

Is it painful?

Thanks to the anesthesia, there won’t be any painful feeling during the procedure. Nevertheless, after the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some pain.

What is the post-procedure care?

At the Care Center, the site of injection will be bandaged. The doctor will tell you what to expect in the following few days. It is advisable to take these steps:

  1.    Take over-the-counter pain pills.
  2.    Let your joint rest for at least 48 hours and avoid strenuous activity.  
  3.    Try to follow the instructions given by your doctor.

Notice! You should call your doctor if after arriving home:

  1.    You see signs of infection, such as fever it chills
  2.    If you find any of the following symptoms in the incision site: redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge.
  3.    You can’t control pain with the prescribed medication.

In a case of any emergency, you should call for emergency medical services at once!

Gary Starkman Dr. Starkman, a top Neurologist in NYC, is the Medical Director and founder of New York Neurology Associates. He is Board Certified in Neurology with a subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine.

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