Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
What is Carpal Tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of hand numbness and pain. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tissues surrounding the flexor tendons in the wrist swell and put pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the hand. These tissues are called the synovium. The synovium lubricates the tendons and makes it easier to move the fingers.
When this swelling of the synovium occurs, it narrows the confined space of the carpal tunnel and over time crowds the nerve. The median nerve provides sensation to your thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and part of your ring finger.
What causes Carpal Tunnel syndrome?
The wrist pain you feel is due to the pressure from the synovium onto the median nerve. The cause of this tissue inflammation can vary but it is an underlying cause of swelling in the wrist which can also obstruct blood flow.
The most common conditions linked to carpal tunnel are:
- thyroid dysfunction
- high blood pressure
- autoimmune disorder i.e rheumatoid arthritis
- fluid retention
- fractures or trauma to the wrist
What are symptoms of carpal tunnel?
Symptoms can vary patient to patient but typically the main symptoms are:
- Weakness in hand
- pain and burning sensation that travels up arm
- numbness, tingling, and pain in thumb, pointer, middle, and index finger
Carpal tunnel diagnoses and treatment
Diagnosing carpal tunnel is typically done by an orthopedic physician, preferably an orthopedic hand surgeon. They will perform a physical examination, discuss patient history, and possibly perform a nerve conduction study or diagnostic test. This works by measuring nerve impulse. If the nerve impulse is slower than normal, it can be an indicator of carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you or someone you know has experienced what may be carpal tunnel, book an appointment with the premier group for north texas orthopedics and sports medicine, AOA Orthopedic Specialists.