Houston Carpal Tunnel Treatment
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common problem that affects the hand, wrist, and fingers. This condition occurs when there is increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist.
The median nerve travels from the forearm into the hand through a “tunnel” in your wrist – the carpal tunnel. Wrist bones form the bottom and sides of the tunnel, and a ligament covers the top. This tunnel also contains nine tendons. Increased pressure within the carpal tunnel squeezes the median nerve. Eventually, stress affects the nerve’s functioning, which may result in numbness, tingling, and pain.
Carpal Tunnel (CTS) Diagnosis
Your doctor may confirm a CTS diagnosis by the following: a physical examination, an x-ray, and an EMG (electromyography) or NCS (nerve conduction study) are ordered to determine the CTS severity.
Causes include anything that causes swelling of the tendons or decreases the carpal tunnel space, such as repetitive use of the hand and wrist or regular use of vibrating instruments. Some other causes could be fractures (broken bones in the hand or wrist), arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, and pregnancy.
Symptoms of CTS may include:
- Numbness and tingling of the hand (often at night or after use).
- Aching or pain that may radiate up the forearm towards the shoulder.
- A feeling that you have “poor circulation,” making you shake your hands to try and restore the circulation. and
- Clumsiness or weakness in handling objects.
Carpal Tunnel Release Treatments
- Wearing a wrist splint to keep the wrist from bending may treat mild cases.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to decrease swelling and pain.
- A small cortisone injection into the carpal tunnel may be given to decrease inflammation.
Suppose these simple measures fail to control your symptoms. In that case, a carpal tunnel release may be required to reduce the pressure on the median nerve and prevent irreversible damage. KSF offers patients the option of endoscopic carpal tunnel release or mini-open carpal tunnel release. Both surgeries are outpatient procedures. Call KSF Orthopaedic Center today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Keith Aldrich, or learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome here.