Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve that runs through the wrist becomes compressed. This can happen when the tunnel that houses the nerve and tendons that connect to the fingers becomes irritated and causes the passageway to narrow. This leads to symptoms like numbness and tingling of the hand and fingers. It will eventually lead to weakness too, making it more difficult to grip items or do things like holding onto a steering wheel.
A number of factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. One of them is the repetitive motion that frequently takes place in the workplace. Using the same hand motion over and over can eventually take its toll. Other factors can include diabetes or simply the individual’s hand anatomy. Some people’s tunnel is naturally smaller than most, making them more susceptible to the disorder.
If you are having symptoms that are consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome, our doctor can perform a series of tests in order to make a diagnosis. He may start by asking you about the symptoms. For example, the little finger is usually not affected by the problem. Numbness and tingling there may indicate a problem other than carpal tunnel syndrome.
Next, a physical examination of the hand may be conducted by checking the feeling in the fingers and testing the strength in the affected hand. Our doctor may even order an X-ray of the hand and wrist to rule out other problems like arthritis. More complex tests that check for electrical impulses may also be done, in some cases.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that is easier to treat when it is detected early. Mild cases of it may be cured by simply avoiding the motions that produce the symptoms as much as possible and taking more frequent breaks.
If these measures do not help, or if the problem has progressed too far before the individual seeks help for it, our doctor may recommend the use of a splint to immobilize the wrist for a while. This may be accompanied by the use of steroid injections, depending on the situation.
If the condition continues to get worse, more extensive treatments like surgery may become necessary. The purpose of these surgical procedures is to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. This may be done by targeting the ligament that is pressing on the nerve.
If you are having symptoms that could be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, you should have them evaluated by our doctor at Arora Hand Surgery as soon as possible. Diagnosing the problem sooner means it has a greater chance of being successfully treated with conservative measures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our office in West Bloomfield, Howell, Warren, or Macomb.