Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common conditions that we treat at Hand Institute of Charleston. It is a condition that occurs when a nerve in the wrist (the median nerve) is pinched or compressed as it travels through a tight area deep in the palm called the carpal tunnel.
Anything that causes increased swelling or pressure within the carpal tunnel can cause carpal tunnel. In most cases there is no obvious direct cause, but several factors and medical conditions have been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome including:
- Overuse or repetitive activities
- Swelling due to pregnancy
- Diabetes, thyroid, and rheumatoid diseases
- Swelling due to fractures or other acute injuries
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of this condition can include:
- Pain, numbness, or tingling usually affecting the thumb, index and ring fingers
- Weakness or clumsiness of the hand
- Symptoms are often worse at night and with certain activities like driving, but over time can become constant
We typically start with nonoperative treatment options including:
- Activity modification recommendations
- Wrist splinting
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Steroid injections
In cases that are severe, long-standing, or have failed nonoperative treatment, a minor surgical procedure can often significantly improve symptoms. There are several options regarding the type of anesthesia and procedure, but the most common technique involves mild IV sedation, local numbing in the palm, then a small incision in the palm to relieve pressure on the pinched nerve.
READY TO CONFIRM A DIAGNOSIS AND FIX THE PROBLEM OR JUST WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Our Board-Certified Orthopaedic Hand and Wrist Surgeons are here to help! They can often diagnose the problem in one visit, and get you started with a treatment plan. We offer a wide variety of both nonoperative and operative treatment options.
This content is not a substitute for expert medical advice or diagnosis and is for educational purposes only.