Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which travels through the wrist and the hand, becomes compressed. This compression causes tingling and pain in the fingers and sometimes the wrist. In severe cases, the compression can make it difficult to move fingers. The nerve is most often compressed when pressure builds up in the carpal tunnel-a narrow passageway of ligament and bones that houses the median nerve, a major artery, and a few tendons. If you do not seek treatment for this condition, it will progress and get more severe. Once you notice any symptoms, you should see a Westfield carpal tunnel syndrome specialist for diagnosis and treatment.
In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome will cause pain, tingling, and numbness in the fingers, especially the thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger, or both, hand, or forearm. It will usually start gradually and slowly get worse over time. If severe enough, you may even lose grip strength in your hands when grasping objects.
You may also experience a “pins and needles” feeling, or aching pain in your hand, or occasionally even weakness in the hands. In severe cases of CTS, you may have more severe symptoms such as loss of coordination in your hand, which can make it hard to pick up small objects or perform other everyday tasks requiring manual dexterity.
In some cases, you may experience no symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may result from many causes. Your risk of developing this condition is increased by wrist injury or fracture other types of wrist problems such as abnormal growth on a bone in your wrist. Deformities that cause your wrist to bend back into the palm too far, carpal bone fractures or dislocations, or an injury involving pulling or pressure on the wrist may also increase your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Heredity and aging can play a role, too.
The most common treatment for CTS is a non-surgical option called conservative care, which includes wearing a splint or brace at night and over the day as needed. In some cases, this can relieve pressure on your median nerve, but it will not reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome again in the future.
Suppose lifestyle changes, splints, and anti-inflammatory medicines are not effective in relieving your pain. In that case, you may need surgery to remove the ligament that forms the roof of your carpal tunnel.
There are several surgeries used to treat CTS. The surgeon will cut two of the bones in your wrist to reach the roof of your carpal tunnel. After locating the ligament compressing your median nerve, the surgeon will cut it away from the nerve and bone. This cut relieves pressure on your median nerve, which should help reduce pain and tingling in your hand.
The procedure usually takes an hour or two, depending on your symptoms.
In summary, the carpal syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when the median nerve, which travels through the wrist and into the hand, becomes compressed. It mainly causes symptoms such as pain, tingling, and numbness. Common causes of the condition include wrist problems, heredity, and aging. Treatment options include conservative treatment and surgery, depending on the severity of your symptoms.