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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common orthopedic condition caused by pressure on the median nerve in the wrist.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually appear gradually and can include the following:

  • Numbness and/or pain in the thumb, index and long fingers
  • Loss of dexterity or frequent fumbling of objects
  • Weakness in the hand
  • Radiating pain in the forearm

If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to the permanent loss of sensation and coordination in your fingers, making ordinary daily tasks, such as buttoning your shirt, difficult.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

In most cases, the underlying cause of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is unknown. Research indicates several factors closely associated with the development of CTS, including advancing age, female gender and positive family history. Medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease also increase the risk of CTS. While it has been commonly thought that repetitive activity, such as typing, is a cause of CTS, it is probably more accurate to consider these activities as an aggravating factor rather than a cause.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment can include nonsurgical and surgical intervention. Nonsurgical treatment focuses on symptom relief using prescribed splints, anti-inflammatory medication and corticosteroid  injections.

When symptoms persist despite nonsurgical remedies, surgery may be necessary to release the pressure on the median nerve. Proceeding with surgical intervention before the development of constant numbness is key to preventing permanent nerve damage that may not recover after surgery.

Dr. Mark Winston explains carpal tunnel syndrome, including the causes, symptoms and treatment options:

Call 913-319-7600 for more information.