Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist, houses the median nerve along with tendons responsible for finger movement.

Symptoms:

  1. Numbness and Tingling:

    • Typically in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and part of the ring finger. This sensation is often more pronounced at night.
  2. Weakness:

    • Reduced grip strength and difficulty picking up small objects.
  3. Pain or Discomfort:

    • Pain radiating from the wrist up the arm or down into the fingers.
  4. Wrist and Hand Swelling:

    • Swelling may occur due to fluid retention, especially during pregnancy.
  5. Difficulty with Fine Movements:

    • Tasks requiring precision, such as buttoning a shirt or typing, may become challenging.

Causes

  1. Repetitive Motion or Overuse:

    • Performing repetitive hand and wrist movements, especially in jobs that involve prolonged typing, use of vibrating tools, or assembly line work.
  2. Anatomic Factors:

    • Individuals with smaller carpal tunnels or certain anatomical variations may be more prone to developing CTS.
  3. Wrist Trauma:

    • Injuries such as fractures or sprains can cause swelling and compress the median nerve.
  4. Pregnancy:

    • Hormonal changes and fluid retention during pregnancy can contribute to swelling and increased pressure on the median nerve.
  5. Health Conditions:

    • Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders may increase the risk of developing CTS.

Causes

  1. Repetitive Motion or Overuse:

    • Performing repetitive hand and wrist movements, especially in jobs that involve prolonged typing, use of vibrating tools, or assembly line work.
  2. Anatomic Factors:

    • Individuals with smaller carpal tunnels or certain anatomical variations may be more prone to developing CTS.
  3. Wrist Trauma:

    • Injuries such as fractures or sprains can cause swelling and compress the median nerve.
  4. Pregnancy:

    • Hormonal changes and fluid retention during pregnancy can contribute to swelling and increased pressure on the median nerve.
  5. Health Conditions:

    • Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders may increase the risk of developing CTS.

Treatment

Below are the treatment options offered at OrthoCare Innovations Center:

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Treatment:

  1. Conservative Measures:

    • Wrist Splinting: Wearing a splint to keep the wrist in a neutral position, especially at night.
    • Activity Modification: Adjusting or avoiding activities that may exacerbate symptoms.
  2. Medications:

    • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): For pain and inflammation.
    • Corticosteroids: Oral or injected to reduce inflammation.
  3. Physical Therapy:

    • Exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
  4. Corticosteroid Injections:

    • Directly into the carpal tunnel to reduce inflammation.
  5. Surgery (Carpal Tunnel Release):

    • If symptoms persist or are severe, a surgical procedure may be considered to release pressure on the median nerve.

 

Ultrasound guided carpal tunnel release is a new technique for releasing the carpal tunnel.  This can potentially be performed in the office, and is offered at OrthoCare Innovations Center.  If you are considering carpal tunnel release and want a quicker recovery and to avoid going to the operating room, schedule a consultation at OrthoCare Innovations Center to see if you are a candidate.

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