Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an orthopedic condition characterized by numbness or a tingling sensation in the hand and arm. This happens when the median nerve gets compressed or squeezed.
The median nerve is one of the main nerves in the hand passing through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. This syndrome occurs when the tunnel gets narrowed or the synovium tissues surrounding the flexor tendons start swelling.
One of the major causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is excessive pressure on the median nerve. This pressure may occur due to swelling or any other condition that makes the carpal tunnel smaller. Some other causes that may lead to this condition are:
- Repetitive Hand Movements – Repeating similar wrist or hand movements for a long period of time may lead to swelling which puts pressure on the median nerve.
- Nerve Damaging Condition – Most of the chronic illnesses, such as Diabetes and Arthritis, may increase the nerve damage risk leading to this syndrome.
- Other Health Conditions – A few conditions, such as menopause, kidney failure, and thyroid disorders exacerbate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Alteration Of Body Fluids – Fluid retention can increase the pressure within the carpal tunnel which thus affects the median nerve.
- Excessive Smoking – People who smoke regularly are more prone to the syndrome as it reduces blood flow to the median nerve.
In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually. However, as the condition worsens, the symptoms start to appear more often than before and may even persist for a much longer period. Some of the symptoms include:
- Occasional tingling or ‘pins-and-needles’ sensation in the hand.
- Pain in the forearm or wrist that awakens you at night.
- Dropping off things due to weakness.
- Numbness or pain in the arm, which gets worse while using wrist or hand.
- Occasional shock-like sensations radiating to the thumb and/or fingers except the little finger.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can often be relieved without any surgical treatment if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, your doctor may recommend surgery if the symptoms become severe.
- Bracing or splinting
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Nerve gliding exercises
- Steroid injections
- Open carpal tunnel release
- Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
At OrthoTexas, we use surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat various orthopedic conditions including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call us at 972-492-1334.