Carpal tunnel syndrome can be described as a pinched nerve in the wrist. The carpal tunnel in the wrist is where the median nerve and nine tendons pass down the forearm to the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when inflammation in this tunnel puts pressure on the nerve.
Pressure on the nerve can occur because of:
Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can also affect carpal tunnel syndrome.
Symptoms can include:
The thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers are usually the most affected by the numbness. At night the symptoms can be worse however they may also be noticed during daily activities including driving or reading the newspaper.
Symptoms can often be alleviated without surgery. Some treatment options include:
When symptoms don’t improve or if they are especially severe, a carpal tunnel release surgery can be required to make additional room for the nerve. Pressure on the nerve is lessened by creating an incision in the ligament which forms the top of the tunnel, on the palm side of the hand. After surgery, tenderness around the incision may last for some time. Recovery can take some months to achieve. Carpal tunnel symptoms can take a toll and may not completely go away following the operation. For more information about carpal tunnel syndrome and its treatment, contact the office to schedule a consultation.