Carpal tunnel syndrome results from placing stressful weight on the wrist’s median nerve. The forearm’s tendons, along with the median nerve, pass through to the hand through a very small space called the carpal tunnel. Since the median nerve controls finger movement, undue weighted pressure on this nerve can cause weakness and loss of sensation in hand.
There are several conditions and activities that can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Using the hand or wrist in a repeated fashion – typically with the hand lower than the wrist. This includes computer work, vibrating tools, and activities requiring a strong grip.
• Medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and some types of arthritis can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Pregnancy has also been a reported condition with higher risk rates.
• Genetic predisposition
• Medical disorders that lead to fluid retention.
• Medical conditions associated with inflammation such as inflammatory arthritis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
• Loss of strength.
• Sensation of pins and needles in the hand.
• Forearm tenderness.
• Pain up the arm.
• Pain during the night, starting gradually.
• Weak grip strength.
Making every attempt to care for the pain right away, and using at-home remedies, can help prevent long-term damage. If you have attempted home remedies such as eliminating the activity, icing the area, and taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications without relief, consult with us at El-Amin Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute. We can make a thorough diagnosis based on signs, symptoms, and specific physical tests as well as electrodiagnostic tests.
Being physically active can decrease the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms can improve by wearing a wrist splint or with corticosteroid injections. Physical therapy is also a nonsurgical option. If all nonsurgical therapies have been tried without success, your Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeon may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery.
During open carpal tunnel release surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is cut, which releases pressure on the median nerve and relieves the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. An incision is made at the base of the palm of the hand. After the ligament is cut, the skin is closed with stitches. Open carpal tunnel release surgeries are usually performed on an outpatient basis and are highly successful.
At El-Amin Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute, Dr. El-Amin and his Physician Assistant, Cassidy, are very experienced in caring for carpal tunnel syndrome. Your exam will consist of gathering a history of any health-related conditions, including pregnancy, and talk with you about any recent physical activity that may have affected your wrist. We will evaluate your strength as well as assess your affected wrists along with your arms, shoulder, and neck. It is not unusual for your doctor to order some blood or nerve tests to rule out other conditions.
If you are experiencing pain and symptoms related to carpal tunnel syndrome, call for an appointment.