Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves a pinched nerve in the wrist or palm. The Carpal Tunnel is the place in the wrist where nine tendons lead from the hand to the forearm. When pressure builds up in this area, it puts added stress on the nerve causing pain, tingling and numbness in the hand and fingers.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While there isn’t a single cause, several factors can affect the wrist and hand nerves. Repetitive movement may be a large factor such as flexing and extending the wrist and fingers especially in work-related tasks that are done every day. The syndrome is also associated with certain diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, hypothyroidism and gout.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Signs you may have of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include pain, numbness and tingling in the hand wrist or fingers, often the thumb or forefinger. These symptoms may be worse at night or when doing certain activities such as driving, using the computer or unscrewing bottle tops or fastening buttons. People with the syndrome often feel tingling, or have a weaker grip, perhaps even causing them to drop things.
There are several different treatment options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome starting with relieving symptoms and keeping it from getting worse. Some of the ways to help reduce discomfort include, resting the hand and wrist, cold compresses and controlling activities or changing habits that bring on symptoms.Wearing a wrist splint is also often recommended in the early stages. The splint keeps the wrist in one position, preventing it from bending. Wearing a splint at night can sometimes help people sleep better. However, splinting does not usually cure the disease.
Another treatment option is steroid injections into the area around the nerve. These help to shrink the structures around the nerve, reducing pressure. The steroid injection is done in a doctor’s office and has a low risk of side effects.
Surgery is recommended in severe cases when other treatments haven’t worked and symptoms don’t get better. The goal of Carpal Tunnel surgery is to make more room for the nerve, reducing pressure on it and relieving the symptoms. The surgery is often an outpatient procedure and, when done properly, has consistently good results. Typically, there is no need for a splint or cast. Many people find that symptoms are often quickly relieved and they are able to resume their regular daily activities within a few weeks.
The board certified specialists at Advanced Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery can properly diagnose and treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you suspect your hand or wrist problems may be from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, visit our office in Danbury, Connecticut.