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Carpal tunnel or Arthritis?

Whilst both arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain in your hand and wrist, they are different conditions which may require different treatment.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition which usually presents when pressure is on a nerve in your wrist, whereas Arthritis is a progressive condition where the joint wears out.

Carpal tunnel symptoms:

Tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingerMuscle wastingPain that is worse at night or wakes your from your sleep

Arthritis symptoms

Pain, stiffness and deformity of your thumb, fingers and/or wristSwelling of jointsInterference with finger and thumb joint function.


Both conditions may benefit from the use of anti-inflammatory medication, wearing a splint for support and rest.
However, if the condition worsens or does not respond to non-invasive treatment then surgery may be required.

Carpal tunnel

Carpal tunnel decompression is a procedure for carpal tunnel which is done under local anaesthetic, and the nerve is freed from the tunnel so the pressure is released.


Surgery for arthritis can depend on which joint is affected. Keyhole surgery can help ‘wash out’ joints and also help diagnose the severity of the arthritis.

Procedures can also be targeted at removing the pain nerves supplying a joint. In severe cases, either the joint is prevented from moving (fused) or the joint can be replaced.


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