Carpal tunnel syndrome often sneaks up on you, beginning as mild, occasional pain or tingling and gradually progressing to cause a weak grip and permanent nerve damage. At SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER ORTHOPEDICS AND SPORTS MEDICINE, David Lent, MD, FAAOS, and Eric Spencer, MD, FAAOS, develop customized treatment plans that protect the nerve, ease your symptoms, and restore normal hand movement. If you need help with carpal tunnel syndrome, use the online booking feature or call the office in Yonkers or Mamaroneck, New York, or the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City today.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is pinched. The median nerve travels through your arm and into your hand. As it passes through your wrist, the nerve goes through a narrow opening called the carpal tunnel.
The nerve shares the small tunnel with several tendons. When any of these soft tissues become inflamed, the nerve becomes compressed inside the tunnel. That's when you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some people have a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome because they naturally have a smaller-than-normal tunnel. However, the nerve most often gets pinched due to:
Frequently repeating the same hand and finger movements places stress on the tendons. As a result, the tendons become inflamed and pinch the nerve.
Performing manual activities with your wrist bent up (extension) or down (flexion) places extra stress on the nerve, causing irritation and inflammation.
Any injury that affects the structures in your wrist can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.
A few health conditions increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, including diabetes and inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
Carpal tunnel symptoms usually develop slowly. As they get progressively worse, you experience:
As soon as symptoms develop, it's important to seek medical care. The longer your case of carpal tunnel syndrome goes untreated, the more likely you are to develop permanent nerve damage.
In the early stages of carpal tunnel syndrome, your provider can alleviate your symptoms and give the nerve time to heal with conservative treatment, such as:
If your symptoms don't improve, or you already have nerve damage, your provider recommends outpatient surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerve.
During the procedure, called carpal tunnel release, your provider carefully cuts the ligament that forms one part of the carpal tunnel. This produces just enough extra space for the nerve to heal.
If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, call SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER ORTHOPEDICS AND SPORTS MEDICINE or book an appointment online today.