How to identify an advanced carpal tunnel syndrome?
The discomforts can be tracked many years back. (Often, those discomforts are misinterpreted by the patients, e.g. for circulatory disorders)
The skin sensation is significantly reduced with an advanced carpal tunnel syndrome.
Often this also goes with a significant reduction in muscles of the thumb ball (Thenar atrophy) with a corresponding weakness of grabbing.
The illustration shows such a significant reduction of the thumb ball’s muscle.
Is a surgery still useful with a very advanced carpal tunnel syndrome?
Normalizing of the result with a reduction in muscles and long lasting “numbness” is not expected. But if the rest of the thumb balls muscles is existent and there is still a sensation for pain in the fingers, a surgery can be beneficial to keep the remaining functions of the nerve.
It is important that the affected person has realistic expectations on the doctor: The doctor can extent the nerve canal with the surgery of the carpal tunnel syndrome. Regenerating the nerve can only be done by nature.
As a rule of thumb for an advanced carpal tunnel syndrome is:
Eventually occuring strong pain is disappearing, the numbness of the fingers is not worsening and is improving a bit after many months.
But normalizing is not expected!