Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand from pressure on the median nerve in your wrist.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow path on the palm side of your wrist made up of bones and ligaments. The median nerve, which controls sensation and movement in the thumb and first three fingers, runs through this path along with tendons to the fingers and thumb. When it is pinched or compressed, the result is numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the hand, called carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

 

 

 




Carpal tunnel

Symptoms
Carpal tunnel develops slowly. At first, you're most likely to notice it at night or when you first wake up in the morning. The feeling is similar to the "pins-and-needles" sensation you get when your hand falls asleep. During the day, you may notice pain or tingling when holding things, like a phone or a book, or when driving. Shaking or moving your fingers usually helps.As carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, you may begin to notice weakness in your thumb and first two fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause a feeling of numbness in the hands.


Numbness medial nerve distribution


Who suffers Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Women are three times more likely than men to get carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain conditions can also increase your risk. These include:Diabetes, gout, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis,Pregnancy,Sprain or fracture of the wrist.

What Happens Without Treatment?
At first, symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome come and go, but as the condition worsens, symptoms may become constant. Pain may radiate up the arm all the way to the shoulder. Over time, if untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can cause the muscles on the thumb side of your hand to waste away (atrophy). Even with treatment, strength and sensation may never be completely restored.



Atrophy of the thenar

 
Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If surgery is needed, it's typically done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. The ligament overlying the top of the carpal tunnel is cut to relieve pressure. The healed ligament will allow more space in the carpal tunnel. Sometimes the procedure is done arthroscopically, using a tiny camera inserted through a very small incision to guide the procedure.


Carpal tunnel syndrome release


Arthroscopically assisted carpal tunnel syndrome release

 

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