Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hand when pressure on the median nerve within the wrist is increased. The carpal tunnel is a narrow tube (where “tunnel” derives from) in the wrist that allows the median nerve and tendons to connect the hand to the forearm.

Symptoms include numbness at night, tingling or pain in the fingers, weakness in the hands, inability to perform tasks that require delicate motions, and dropping things. Symptoms typically start mild and gradually increase in severity over time.

Carpal tunnel syndrome typically affects those who do repetitive activities or jobs involving their fingers. Other conditions also contribute to developing the syndrome including wrist fractures or deformity, hypothyroidism, alcoholism, diabetes, older age, pregnancy along with a hereditary disposition for smaller carpal tunnels.

Diagnosis is done through x-rays, electromyography, wrist flexion test, and Tinel’s sign. Treatment and management of carpal tunnel syndrome include non-surgical options like wearing a wrist splint at night, cortisone injections, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgical options are available to those who do not respond positively to non-surgical treatments. The goal of surgery is to increase the size of the tunnel to reduce pressure.

Chat with your team at Schneck if you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome or are at risk for developing it.

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