Learn the Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Learn the Facts About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

We Have the Skills to Ease Your CTS Pain

It typically starts with tingling, numbness or pain in your thumb and the next two fingers of your hand or hands. Over time, the discomfort can intensify, occur more frequently and spread to your wrist and beyond.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a painful condition caused by a compressed median nerve in your wrist or wrists. And while CTS is often linked to using computers, reports of the condition actually date back to the 1800s.

CTS is 10 times more common in women than men and most often affects people between the ages of 40 and 60. It is also known as median nerve compression or median nerve entrapment. It can happen when a nerve swells, the tendons become inflamed or something else causes swelling in the carpal tunnel.

If CTS is not treated, your median nerve can become seriously damaged. You can also experience permanent numbness in your fingers and permanent weakness in the muscles innervated (supplied with nerves) by the median nerve. You also might not be able to distinguish hot and cold with your thumb and fingers.

What is the Carpal Tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of bones and ligaments at the base of your hand. It is also where the median nerve and tendons are located. If the tendons become inflamed or irritated, the carpal tunnel can narrow.

The median nerve controls sensations to your palm, thumb and the next three fingers of your hand. It also controls the muscle you use to bring your thumb across your palm to touch your pinky finger. It does not control the little finger itself. Pressure on this nerve can lead to pain, numbness and weakness in the hand and wrist. The pain can also radiate up your arm and even to your shoulder.

Some Common Causes of CTS

  1. Repetitive moments.
  2. Repeated use of vibrating hand tool.
  3. Inflammatory, degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
  4. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
  5. An overactive pituitary gland.
  6. Pregnancy (edema or fluid retention).
  7. Diabetes.
  8. Physical trauma (dislocated or fractured wrist).
  9. Wrist lesions. 
  10. A cyst or tumor in the carpal tunnel.
  11. Swelling or inflammation around the tendons.

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. They include:

- Your sex: Women are 10 times more likely to develop CTS than men.

- Your age: CTS usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 60.

- Your weight: Obesity increases your risk of CTS.

- Diabetes: If you have diabetes or another metabolic disorder, you are more susceptible to nerve compression.

- Pregnancy: CTS can crop up during pregnancy and then fade away.

If your symptoms are mild, your CTS may improve without any treatment within a few months, especially if you reduce the repetitive movements that might have caused your CTS.

However, if your CTS requires a doctor’s care, the Kayal Orthopaedic Center is an excellent choice. Our trained and experienced specialists understand the intricacies of carpal tunnel syndrome. We will diagnose your condition quickly and accurately and then focus on the most effective treatment for your unique situation.

Treatments May Include

  1.   Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. This approach can help relieve your short-term pain.
  2.   Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation.
  3.   Surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common surgeries in the U.S. and is often performed as an outpatient procedure. There are two main types: open release and endoscopic. During open release surgery, a small incision is made in the wrist and the carpal ligament is cut to enlarge the carpal tunnel. During endoscopic surgery, small incisions are made in the wrist and palm and a tiny camera is inserted into the wrist. Your surgeon will then look at the tendons and ligaments and cut the carpal ligament.  

    Following surgery, some patients experience relief immediately while others need several months to fully recover.

Are you in search of a diagnosis after experiencing tingling, numbness or pain in your thumb, fingers or wrist? Or are you looking to receive treatment and feel better following a recent CTS diagnosis? We can help! Call us at 844.777.0910 or contact us through our website to schedule your appointment.