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It started with numbness or tingling in your thumb or wrist. Then, odd sensations and pain started traveling up your arm and into your shoulder. Now, you’re having trouble completing tasks that require precise finger movements, such as buttoning your shirt or coat.
If you are experiencing these or similar symptoms, you could be dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects the narrow passageway that runs from the base of your wrist through your hand. If you think that’s the case, you should make an appointment with one of our top-notch specialists at Kayal Orthopaedic Center. We will help you find the answers you deserve, including a prompt and accurate diagnosis. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, your surgeon will explore all nonsurgical options first before considering whether you need hand and wrist surgery in Westwood, NJ, or nearby.
The Anatomy of Your Carpal Tunnel
The floor and sides of your carpal tunnel are formed by small wrist bones called carpal bones. Its roof is made up of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament. The tunnel is only about an inch wide and has very little room to stretch or expand. The median nerve—which provides feeling to your thumb, index, middle and ring fingers— passes through the carpal tunnel. This nerve also controls your muscles near the base of your thumb. Your flexor tendons—the nine tendons that bend your thumb and fingers—also travel through the carpal tunnel.
So things can get very snug. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tunnel narrows or when tissues, called synovium, swell and crowd your median nerve. This can result in tingling, numbness, weakness, dropping things and pain.
Women, Elderly Are More Vulnerable
Women and the elderly are at greater risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Most people know that CTS can be caused by work-related activities, but it also can occur as the result of sports and other physical activities. These are just some of the causes:
- Repetitive work-related wrist activity
- Overactive pituitary gland
- Trauma or injury to the wrist
- Mechanical problems with the wrist joint
- Repeated use of vibrating hand tools
- Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause
- Development of a cyst or tumor in the canal
- Health conditions, such as hypothyroidism, arthritis or diabetes
Without treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome will get worse. However, nonsurgical treatments are usually effective if the condition is diagnosed and treated early. Some of the nonsurgical treatments we will explore include:
- Wrist splinting
- Modifying or changing activity
- Nerve gliding exercises
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
If your condition requires surgery, your surgeon will perform a carpal tunnel release. There are two types:
- Open surgery, which is designed to increase the size of your carpal tunnel and eliminate the pressure on your nerve
- Endoscopic surgery, which is performed through a small incision and aims to cut ligaments to relieve pressure on the median nerve
Both procedures achieve the same goal, but your surgeon will evaluate your unique circumstances and recommend the procedure that is best for you.
Schedule an Appointment Today
From an osteoporosis specialist in Franklin Lakes to a sciatica doctor in Westwood, Kayal Orthopaedic Center is the team you can count on for all of your orthopaedic challenges, including sports injuries, spinal disorders, arthritis, bursitis, foot and ankle problems, joint pain, inflammation, neuropathy and injured muscles, tendons and ligaments. To schedule an appointment, call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us on the web.