The American College of Rheumatology estimates between 4-10 million Americans are living with carpal tunnel syndrome. At Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Frisco, Texas, Andrew Dold, MD, and Paul Ghattas, DO, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. If chronic hand or wrist pain is negatively impacting your quality of life, call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment today.
Your carpal tunnel is a small opening in your wrist about an inch wide. Your median nerve runs down your arm, into your forearm, and through your carpal tunnel. If the tendons in your hands and wrists become irritated or inflamed, it causes your carpal tunnel to narrow, placing pressure on your median nerve.
As the pressure increases, it presents a variety of uncomfortable symptoms including tingling, numbness, and general weakness.
Medical experts aren’t entirely sure what causes carpal tunnel syndrome. However, a combination of factors are thought to play a role including genetics, repetitive hand or wrist use, and health conditions like rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects people from all walks of life, but it’s more common in women and people who are over the age of 50.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel vary from patient to patient. Some of the most common telltale signs include:
In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome appear gradually. For example, you might only experience hand pain on occasion at first, but as the condition progresses your inflammation may become chronic.
To diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, your Star Orthopedic and Sports Medicine provider performs a thorough physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you a series of questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Your provider then performs a series of physical tests, placing pressure on your fingers and wrists, testing the sensitivity of your fingertips, and inspecting the muscles in the base of your thumb.
If a physical exam doesn’t provide adequate information, your doctor may recommend a diagnostic imaging test, like an ultrasound, X-ray, or an electrophysiological test.
The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of your symptoms. Whenever possible, the team at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine uses conservative measures of care like splinting, activity changes, and over-the-counter pain medications.
If conservative methods of care don’t provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary. Fortunately, the team at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine offers safe and effective minimally invasive techniques.
Don’t let chronic hand pain negatively impact your quality of life. If you’re worried about your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, call the team at Star Orthopedics and Sports Medicine or use the online booking tool to request your appointment today.