Affecting between 4-10 million Americans, carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common nerve disorders. The compassionate and dedicated team of physicians at North Texas Orthopaedic & Spine diagnoses carpal tunnel syndrome and provides customized treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and reduce the swelling that causes the nerve irritation. Call or schedule an appointment online today. The practice has five convenient locations in Fort Worth, Duncanville, Allen, and the Dallas communities of South Hampton and Skillman.
Your carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist bone that protects your median nerves as they pass from your forearm into your hand. It is made up of several small bones and a band of connective tissue called the transverse carpal ligament.
There’s very little space in your carpal tunnel, so if you have any inflammation in the area, it can quickly compress the nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in your hand. This pain is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
The most common symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome is numbness or tingling in your hand and fingers. The numbness usually affects your thumb and first three fingers — your pinkie finger isn’t affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. You may also develop weakness in your hands that makes it hard for you to hold on to or grasp objects.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually develop slowly. However, over time they become more noticeable and can even extend up your forearm.
Several factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, if a family member has carpal tunnel syndrome, your risk increases as you may have similar structures in your wrist that make nerve compression more likely. Additionally, repetitive motions such as typing can cause inflammation in your carpal tunnel. Health conditions including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid problems can also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
The doctors at North Texas Orthopaedic & Spine diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome with a comprehensive exam. After collecting your medical history and talking about your symptoms, your doctor feels your wrist and arms for signs of swelling and inflammation. They may also order an X-ray for a clear look at the bones of your wrist.
Your doctor may use an electromyogram or another nerve conduction study to measure the nerve activity in your forearm, wrist, and hand.
The physicians at North Texas Orthopaedic & Spine usually try conservative treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome first. They may suggest splinting your wrist, anti-inflammatory medicines, and corticosteroids to reduce swelling and inflammation in your wrist. However, if conservative treatments aren’t effective, your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure in your carpal tunnel.
If you’re concerned about pain and weakness in your hands, call or schedule an appointment at North Texas Orthopaedic & Spine online today to find out if carpal tunnel is to blame and get relief.