Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Do you feel numbness or tingling in your hand at night?
Do you sometimes feel a sharp pain that goes up and into your arm or shoulder?
Do you have trouble holding objects without dropping them?
If so, you may be experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
What Is It?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common problem that affects your hands. It is usually caused when tendons in the wrist fire inflamed after being aggravated by repetitive movements such as typing. This may cause progressive narrowing of the carpal wrist tunnel of bone and ligament that passes through the center of the wrist. This results in pressure on the nerves to the fingers and base of the thumb.
Symptoms include hand and wrist pain, a burning sensation in the middle and index finger's, thumb and finger numbness or an electric-like shock feeling through the wrist and hand. This symptoms might become worse when the wrist is bent downwards.
How Is It Caused?
Causes include repetitive and forceful grasping with the hands, consistent bending of wrist, broken or dislocated bones in the wrist, arthritis, thyroid gland imbalance, diabetes and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. In some cases no obvious cause can be identified.
Conservative treatment including rest and use of a wrist splint during sleep may be considered initially. However, if the pain is severe and conservative treatment does not help, a relatively simple procedure called "carpal tunnel release" can be done by the Neurosurgeon.
The carpal tunnel is made up of the bones, tendons, and ligaments that surround the median nerve which innervates the arm, wrist, hand and fingers. Neurosurgeons who are specialists in the area of nerve injury are therefore well trained to treat and operate to relieve this problem.
The goal of surgery is to relieve pressure on the median nerve in the carpal tunnel. The results of surgery are usually exceptional with most patients receiving nearly complete relief from their presenting symptoms. Recurrence of symptoms after surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is less than 5%.
Should you have the above symptoms, do not wait for the pain to become intolerable. The earlier you are diagnosed and treated the better the outcome.