Carpal Tunnel

Hand and Microsurgery Associates

Hand Surgery & Orthopedic Surgery located in Columbus, OH
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist condition that 4-10 million Americans experience at some point in their lives. If you have numbness in your thumb and first three fingers or pain that shoots up your forearm, contact the team of board-certified orthopedic hand surgeons at Hand and Microsurgery Associates in Columbus, Ohio. The group provides expert diagnosis and customized treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, helping you get back to your regular activities. Call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today to schedule a consultation.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Your carpal tunnel is a small opening in your wrist that surrounds your median nerve as it enters your hand. It has bone on three sides and a thick band of connective tissue — the transverse carpal ligament —as its roof. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when inflammation in the transverse carpal ligament or surrounding tissue reduces the space in your carpal tunnel and compresses your nerve.

Some of the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Numbness, tingling, and burning pain in your thumb and first three fingers/li>
  • Electrical or shock-like sensations in your thumb and first three fingers/li>
  • Pain or pins-and-needles sensations that travel up your forearm to your shoulder/li>
  • Weakness or clumsiness in your hand

These symptoms can cause you to drop things or struggle to hold a pen or fork.

Symptoms also tend to come and go in the early stages of the condition. Many people find their symptoms are worse when they wake up in the morning because they sleep with bent wrists. When left untreated, your symptoms worsen, become more frequent, or last longer.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Several factors contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Your genetics contribute to your risk of the condition. You might have a smaller than average carpal tunnel or have other anatomic differences that increase your chances of nerve compression.

Repetitive motions like typing, knitting, or playing a musical instrument can cause swelling in your wrist. Similarly, activities that keep your wrists in an extended or flexed position for a prolonged time can contribute to inflammation and nerve compression.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause swelling in your wrists. Additionally, health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Following a comprehensive exam and diagnosis, the team at Hand and Microsurgery Associates provides a personalized treatment plan. Depending on your specific condition, they might recommend bracing or splinting to keep your wrist in a neutral position.

Anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections can also relieve your symptoms.

The team might also recommend physical therapy, including nerve gliding exercises. They might also suggest activity changes to reduce your symptoms.

In severe cases, when noninvasive treatments haven’t relieved your symptoms, the team offers expert carpal tunnel release surgery. They use two different surgical techniques to relieve pressure on your median nerve.

Call Hand and Microsurgery Associates today to find out if carpal tunnel syndrome is the root cause of your symptoms and get personalized treatment.