Are you experiencing pain in your hand waking you up at night? Do you have tingling in the fingers when you are driving or holding your phone? Is it getting difficult for you to manipulate small objects like buttons or clasps? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the nerve crossing your wrist is compressed, usually due to swelling of the tendons, which can cause pain and diminished sensation in your hands, particularly the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger. Typical symptoms are pain that wakes people up at night that needs to be “shaken out”, numbness and tingling as well as weakness and difficulty performing activities requiring fine manipulation. The diagnosis can usually be made with a detailed history and physical examination but confirmation can be performed with a nerve test called EMG’s that can determine the severity of the nerve compression and rule out other causes.
In milder forms, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with bracing, anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots. Once the compression is more severe, releasing the pressure on the nerve can be crucial to relieve the symptoms and prevent permanent nerve damage which can occur with chronic compression of the nerve. Newer minimally invasive techniques are available that allow the procedure to be done through a quarter-inch incision with the assistance of a camera. This technique allows for a quicker recovery process as well as less postoperative discomfort. Results of surgery are generally excellent with many patients going back to all of their activities within 6-8 weeks.
If you think you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, the first step is to have an evaluation so schedule your appointment with one of our board-certified specialists today for an evaluation.