Pinched Nerve Treatment Ch2 
When Surgery may be Necessary 

All pinched nerve treatments focus on relieving the pressure or whatever is causing the nerve to be pinched or squeezed. Surgery will have the same goal.






Surgical Pinched Nerve Treatment

Surgery can make more room
within the carpal tunnel.

Image thanks to Dr Harry Gouvas, via Wikimedia Commons

Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The two large bones in your forearm, the radius and the ulna, are connected across the inside of your wrist by the carpal ligament.

This broad ligament is like a band that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel.

Cutting the Carpal Ligament

Pinched nerve treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome requires cutting the carpal ligament which makes more room inside of the carpal tunnel for tendons and nerves.

Making more room for the nerves where they pass through the carpal tunnel is intended to relieve the numbness and tingling and pain in your hand.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome in your ankle is similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in your wrist. In your ankle it is the flexor retinaculum that covers the tarsal tunnel and causes pain, numbness and other symptoms in your foot.

Pinched nerve treatment for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome involves cutting the flexor retinaculum and making more room for the nerves that run underneath it.

Ulnar Nerve Entrapment

Between your wrist and elbow the ulnar nerve passes between and around the many muscle groups in your forearm. Symptoms can occur when this nerve is squeezed or stretched during normal activities.

Pinched nerve treatment for Ulnar Nerve Entrapment requires moving the ulnar nerve to a better location where it runs along the muscles instead of between the muscles. This will allow you to use your hand and arm without irritating the ulnar nerve.


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Spinal Stenosis Surgery

Surgery to relieve spinal stenosis will remove the bone and ligament that are pressing on the nerves. 

Before surgery your doctor may order a CT scan or an MRI to try and determine which nerves are being pinched.

Your spine is a complicated piece of equipment and determining which nerve is being pinched can be very difficult even with a million dollar study to look at.

If your doctor does surgery in the wrong area and does not relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve that is causing your symptoms you will not get any relief.

It is important that your doctor understands your symptoms so he can decide which nerve is being pinched and where to do surgery. 

Learn more about Spinal Stenosis Surgery

Spinal stenosis sometimes
requires major surgery.

Image thanks to Austin Samaritans, via Wikimedia Commons

The Risks of Surgery

Anytime you have surgery there is always a risk of bleeding, infection, and damage to nerves. When your doctor is trained in the latest techniques, and your surgery is performed in a modern hospital, these risks are minimized as much as possible.

But the risk is never zero.

Your risks may be increased because of other health problems you may have. Things like diabetes and vascular disease can slow down healing. Autoimmune diseases and people with suppressed immune systems may have problems with infection. Cardiac problems and lung diseases can increase the risks of surgery.

All surgeries are not created equal. Some surgeries are more dangerous than others. Some surgeries are more successful than others. Healthier people are able to tolerate surgery better. 

Making the Decision

You should always discuss the risks of surgery with your doctor and weigh them against the benefits of relieving your symptoms and improving your life.

If the risks of surgery are great because of your health or other problems you may want to postpone surgery or avoid it completely.

After considering the risks and benefits and discussing them with your doctor you can decide what course of action is best for you

Back to: Pinched Nerve Treatment Ch1



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