Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition, which causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand. This occurs when one of the major nerves to the hand the median nerve is compressed as it travels through the wrist.

Causes
  • Repetitive movements: Repetitive usage of hand and wrist over a prolonged period of time
  • Hand and wrist position: Doing activities that involve extreme flexion or extension of the hand and wrist for a prolonged period of time.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause swelling.
  • Medical Conditions: Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance.
Symptoms
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, and pain mainly in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Shock like sensations radiate to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers
  • Pain or tingling that may travel up the forearm towards shoulder
  • Weakness in the hand
  • Symptoms are more at night.
  • Moving or shaking their hands helps in relieving their symptoms.
Tests
  • Nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • Electromyogram (EMG)
  • Ultrasound.
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Treatment
Non-Surgical
  • Bracing or splinting.
  • Analgesics
  • Activity modification.
  • Cortisone injections.
Surgical

Carpal tunnel release – Cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel to increase size of the tunnel, which relieves pressure on the median nerve.

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