Testing, Treatment & Recovery - Upper Extremity Nerves
A neurosensory test can show us how much feeling the patient has left in his or her hand using a two-prong testing device. It measures:
- The pressure needed to feel the two prongs
- The distance between the two prongs
- A nerve conduction study may also performed to determine exactly where the nerve is compressed by sending electrical currents through the nerve and measuring where they slow down.
Nerves can be treated by:
- Wearing a wrist splint
- Injecting steroids into the carpal tunnel
- Performing surgery to decompress them by opening the tunnels they go through
Outpatient carpal tunnel release can be performed:
- On the palm of the hand
- To release the radial nerve in the forearm about two inches above the wrist using a one-inch incision
- To release the ulnar nerve at the back of the elbow in the groove called the cubital tunnel
Nerves can be released under general anesthesia or under local anesthesia (a nerve block) combined with some sedation.
- Patients go home with their hand wrapped in an Ace wrap
- The hand or arm should be kept elevated as much as possible
- The patient is encouraged to start bending the elbow, wrist and fingers as soon as possible.
- Showering is allowed as long as the hand is covered in a plastic bag
- Sutures are removed after two weeks