Written by Dr. Sohel Islam
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common disorders of the hand. It affects thousands of people every year. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about the disorder, especially about treatments and their effectiveness.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur at any age, but typically occurs in adults. Since almost everyone uses keyboards these days, it is not strictly related to computer or video game use. The disease occurs when a nerve is pinched in the palm/wrist area.
The typical symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are numbness and tingling in one or both hands. These symptoms are often worse at night or when driving. Patients often report that they wake up at night and have to shake their hand to get relief. Patients will also complain that they don’t feel things well or they drop things frequently. In advanced cases, muscle weakness occurs in the hand. Evaluation by a specialist is necessary to confirm the diagnosis because other nerve problems can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome. A nerve conduction test may be necessary. This exam will see if the nerve is pinched and if there is any muscle damage present.
When diagnosed properly, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated effectively, with little down time. Below are the three common treatment options.
Splinting is often recommended in the early stages of the disease. Wearing a splint at night can sometimes help people sleep better. However, the splint does not usually cure the disease.
A second treatment options is steroid injections. The injection of a steroid into the area around the nerve helps to shrink the structures around the nerve, resulting in less pressure on the nerve. The steroid injection is done in the office and has a low risk of side effects. Patients can be managed with these two treatments until their symptoms worsen.
Surgery is recommended in moderate to severe cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The surgery is designed to make more room for the nerve and to relieve the symptoms. Carpal tunnel release is a short surgical procedure which, when done properly, offers consistently good results. Typically, there is no splint or cast, and patients are encouraged to start moving their fingers shortly after surgery. Patients typically get quick symptom relief and are able to resume their daily activities soon after surgery.
Hand and wrist issues like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be quite debilitating. However, with modern medications and successful surgical treatment, people can minimize their symptoms and restore normal hand, wrist strength. If you suspect your hand or wrist problems may be from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and are looking for treatment, request your appointment today with Advanced Specialty Care’s hand surgery specialists at our offices in Danbury and Ridgefield, CT.
– Sohel Islam
Sohel Islam, MD is a Board-Certified Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon and Hand Surgeon. He specializes in hand surgery, breast surgery including augmentations, lifts and reductions, male breast reduction, nipple tattoos and post-mastectomy breast reconstruction as well as facelifts, necklifts, eyelid surgery, liposuction, tummy tucks, mommy makeovers, excess skin removal, body procedures, reconstruction following trauma or surgery and Botox and Fillers for anti-aging, lip enhancement and more. He practices at Advanced Specialty Care’s Danbury & Ridgefield offices.
ADVANCED SPECIALTY CARE
Advanced Specialty Care’s Plastic Surgeons have been rated and awarded as some of the very best in Connecticut, offering the newest and most sophisticated cosmetic & plastic surgery procedures, reconstructive surgeries and non-invasive treatment options for patients of all ages. Call (203) 830-4700 to schedule an appointment with a doctor at any of our convenient offices in Danbury, Norwalk & Ridgefield, CT.