Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Treatment in Columbus, OH

June 20, 2022

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common nerve condition that many people experience at some point in their life.  Symptoms occur when the median nerve becomes subject to increased pressure within the confines of a tunnel formed by the wrist bones and roofed by a thick ligament.  Numbness and tingling in the thumb through ring fingers and wrist pain are common indications of CTS.  Symptoms are typically worse at night time or when sleeping.

In a young or middle-aged person, CTS is most commonly associated with occupations that involve repetitive motion or stress.  However, CTS symptoms can also be associated with pregnancy and certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.  The cause of carpal tunnel during pregnancy is unknown, but thought to be related to hormonal changes, fluid retention, and increased sensitivity of the nerves.

Pregnancy and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Most women who develop carpal tunnel with pregnancy feel symptoms in both hands, primarily during the third trimester.  Compared to others who have CTS due to repetitive motion, pregnant women may find it difficult to perform common activities such as styling their hair, buttoning a shirt, or driving a car.  Although symptoms usually resolve within a few weeks after delivery, occasionally there is an immense amount of discomfort that necessitates treatment during pregnancy.

Treatment Options in Columbus, OH

In many cases, symptoms can improve with conservative treatment, and further testing and surgery can be avoided.

  • For mild cases, appropriate CTS bracing may alleviate symptoms.
  • For a progressive case with more severe problems, a corticosteroid injection may be very effective in resolving symptoms.
  • For the small number of cases that continue to worsen despite conservative care, surgery is an option and often considered safe into the third trimester if necessary. Surgery can be performed under local anesthetic, with greater than a 98% rate of success.

If you have questions about your CTS treatment options, or a screening for CTS symptoms, please contact our office at (614) 262-4263 for an appointment.