Carpal Tunnel Release

Carpal Tunnel can cause pain for many. At ATX Orthopedics, Dr. Benjamin Amis can help patients by providing different treatments and an accurate diagnosis of their particular condition. Patients throughout the Austin area can visit the office in Central Austin, Texas.

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Carpal Tunnel Q&A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

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.

What causes the condition?

Pressure on the nerve can occur because of:

  • Inflammation of the lining of the flexor tendons, known as tenosynovitis
  • Arthritis
  • Joint dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Fluid accumulation during pregnancy

Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes can also affect carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Weak grip
  • Numbness
  • Sporadic clumsiness
  • Tendency to drop things

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.

What are carpal tunnel treatment options?

Symptoms can often be alleviated without surgery. Some treatment options include:

  • Changing patterns of hand use to lessen pressure on the nerve
  • Keeping the wrist splinted in a straight position to reduce pressure
  • Wearing wrist splints at night to alleviate symptoms which can disrupt sleep
  • Steroid injections into the carpal tunnel can lessen inflammation surrounding the nerve

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.

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