Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Introduction

  • Conservative Treatment

  • Surgical Treatment

The median nerve, radial nerve, and ulnar nerve are the three main nerves that supply the hand and upper extremity. It is common for these nerves to become compressed in the extremity causing symptoms such as numbness, tingling, weakness and pain.

The wrist is one of the most common joints where nerve compression occurs. When the wrist flexes or extends for a long period of time it can cause compression in an area of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. As pressure increases, symptoms can worsen leading to nerve damage.

Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by a variety of causes or etiologies. It can be hereditary, present as a symptom of pregnancy or develop as the result of the position of the hand and wrist as well as repetitive use of the hand. Other health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid gland imbalance can also affect the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are several ways to help alleviate the pain due to carpal tunnel syndrome. In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome will worsen over time. Bracing or splinting, which prevents bending or extending the wrist, keeps the wrist in a neutral position in order to reduce pressure on the nerve. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve inflammation and pain can help in some instances, but this is not always the case. A change in activity, modification of activities and avoiding irritating activities can also help reduce pain. Application of steroid injections (cortisone shots) has proven to be an effective treatment option that can provide pain relief for several months.

Our Physicians whom specialize in this condition 

If nonsurgical treatments do not help to relieve pain or improve neurologic symptoms, surgical procedures can be used. A surgical procedure known as carpal tunnel release involves making a small incision in the palm of the hand and dividing the transverse carpal ligament, which is the site of impingement on the nerve. This enlarges the carpal tunnel, relieving the pressure on the median nerve. Less invasive procedures are also available and can be performed through a smaller incision. These procedures are known as endoscopic carpal tunnel release where a camera is utilized to see the inside of the hand and wrist. Using special instruments, the surgeon releases the transverse carpal ligament thus removing pressure from the median nerve.

Our Physicians whom specialize in conditions of the hand and upper extremity

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