Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that occurs when the main nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel on the palm (inner) side the wrist is irritated or subjected to excess pressure, causing tingling or numbness in the hand.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Factors that contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome include repetitive motion such as typing or playing musical instruments, swelling cause by trauma to the wrist or hand, arthritis, congenital malformations of the tunnel, fluid retention, or cysts or tumors in the tunnel.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Pain, numbness, burning, itching or tingling in the hand or wrist that may radiate up the arm
- Pain while sleeping
- Increased pain following prolonged use of the hand
- Difficulty distinguishing hot and cold sensations
- Weak grip
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a physical exam that will assess finger function and strength, including evaluating movements that may cause tingling or discomfort. X-rays, ultrasound, nerve conduction and other tests may also be ordered.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Early treatment recommendations for carpal tunnel syndrome include resting the hand, applying ice packs to the affected area, and wearing a supportive brace. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to help decrease pain and swelling. Your physician may also recommend other treatment options such as physical or occupational therapy, cortisone injections, physical therapy, massage, or yoga.
Surgery is sometimes required to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. It is often a minimally invasive operation that can be done on an outpatient basis. Your physician can advise you as to the best course of treatment for your particular case.