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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common orthopaedic 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.  Recent research indicates that there are several factors which are more 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 prior to the development of constant symptoms of numbness is the key to preventing permanent nerve damage that may not recover following surgery.

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

Call 913-319-7600 for more information.