Getting a Grip after Carpal Tunnel ReleaseCarpal tunnel release (CTR) is a surgery done for carpal tunnel syndrome. It relieves pressure on the median nerve where it passes through the carpal tunnel of the wrist. This surgery relieves pain, but it often causes a weak grip.
Doctors are not sure why. They think it could be because the transverse carpal ligament (TCL) is cut during CTR. This is the ligament that connects across the base of the palm, forming one part of the carpal tunnel.
These doctors tested this theory of the cause of weak grip after CTR. They measured the grip strength of patients undergoing CTR right before surgery, right after surgery, and then over the next five weeks. Grip strength was found to be the same right before and after surgery. Once week later, grip was much weaker. By the fifth week, grip strength was back to its pre-surgery level.
The results mean that cutting the TCL is not the cause of weak grip after this surgery. The authors suggest that other factors such as pain, bleeding, or swelling, may be what make it hard for patients to "get a grip" after CTR surgery.
Scott H. Kozin, MD, and David M. Pagnanelli, MD. Grip Strength After Carpal Tunnel Release: Role of the Transverse Carpal Ligament. In The American Journal of Orthopedics. October 2002. Vol. 31. No. 10. Pp. 571-574.
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