I have a definite case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Would wearing a splint be helpful? I’d rather not have the surgery recommended.

There is sufficient evidence now to show that positive nerve conduction (electrophysiologic) tests are a reliable diagnostic tool for CTS. It is recommended that treatment should not be determined until a clear and accurate diagnosis has been made.

If you have, indeed, been clearly diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome (based on history, clinical tests, and nerve conduction studies), then the evidence points to the need for decompression surgery.

There are a small number of people (about one per cent) who do respond well to wrist splinting as the only course of treatment. So, there is no problem with trying this as your first option. A second approach that has been used with some success is injection therapy with corticosteroids. And a third option is hand therapy with an occupational or physical therapist.

Surgery today for carpal tunnel syndrome is minimally invasive and provides beneficial results quickly. The recovery time is faster, too compared with previous methods of open incision surgery. Today’s modern surgical tools and techniques makes this kind of surgery successful in cases of true carpal tunnel syndrome.