What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand, the median nerve, is compressed as it travels through the wrist.
The flexor tendons on the palm side of the hand bend the fingers. Tissues surrounding the flexor tendons are called the synovium, which lubricates the tendons and makes it easier to move fingers. When the synovium swells, it takes up space in the carpal tunnel and crowds the median nerve. This abnormal pressure on the nerve can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.
Causes of Carpal Tunnel
Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are caused by a combination of factors such as heredity, repetitive hand movement over a prolonged period of time, pregnancy, and health conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance. Women and older people are more likely to develop the condition.
If diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can often be relieved with simple measures like wearing a wrist splint or avoiding certain activities. However, prolonged pressure on the median nerve can lead to nerve damage and worsening symptoms.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
Hand it to DOC for early diagnosis and treatment. DOC’s orthopedic specialists will check for numbness or tingling in fingers or hands, sensitivity in fingertips, and weakness in muscles around the base of the thumb. After a thorough examination, additional tests such as electrophysiological tests, electromyogram (EMG), an ultrasound, X-rays, or an MRI may be required to determine the severity of the condition and identify any other conditions.
If nonsurgical treatment does not relieve pain and weakness after a period of time, the Direct Orthopedic Care physicians may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery.
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