With pressure on the nerve, you may experience numbness and pins and needles in the hand. The hand may feel clumsy or awkward and pain may be a feature. Generally, symptoms are worse at night and often people wake at night shaking out their hand with numbness and pins and needles. You may feel it takes a while to “loosen out” the hand in the morning after you get up. You will likely see that symptoms are worse over time.
There are many causes of pressure on the nerve. Most commonly the normal structures in the wrist thicken over time causing pressure on the nerve. It is possible that a special splint worn at night may help you sleep or that a steroid injection may help relieve your symptoms. If you have established symptoms of weakness or numbness in your hand, you may require surgery.
The surgery involves releasing a ligament which lies above the nerve in the hand. This is most often done under local anaesthetic. The recovery is variable. The operation would be designed to help you get a better night sleep and alleviate the numbness and pins and needles. The hand should function better after the release. The numbness can be unpredictable in the time for recovery as well as the extent of recovery. The operation also prevents the hand from further deterioration over time.