How to Find Permanent Relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition caused by pressure on one of the nerves that provides sensation to your hand. It’s estimated that some 5% of women and 3% of men suffer from this condition.
At its mildest, carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness and tingling of the hand and wrist, and at its worst, the condition can be completely incapacitating. Even mild to moderate carpal tunnel syndrome can have a serious impact on day-to-day activities. The chronic pain can seriously diminish your quality of life, and if left untreated, advanced carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to muscle atrophy, loss of grip strength, reduced ability to use the affected hand and even permanent nerve damage.
Carpal tunnel syndrome isn’t a condition that gets better on its own. This makes it doubly important to seek treatment when you notice symptoms. In this blog, the carpal tunnel specialists at Mirza Orthopedics in Smithtown, NY will explain the causes and symptoms of this painful condition and how you can find permanent relief from carpal tunnel syndrome.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Your carpal tunnel is a narrow opening through the carpal bones (the bones that make up your wrist and the base of your hand). Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve—which supplies feeling to your thumb, index and middle fingers, and one-half of your ring finger—becomes compressed where it runs through this opening.
This can be caused by a number of things. The tendons that flex your fingers also run through your carpal tunnel, leaving little room for the nerve, and carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of repetitive motion of the forearms and hands, which might be caused from typing or other occupational activities. It’s also common during pregnancy, which typically causes swelling of the extremities.
Simply put, anything which causes thickening of the tendons or swelling of any of the tissues in this area can compress the median nerve. In many cases, there is no one single cause, but instead a combination of factors lead to the condition.
You may be more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome if:
- You’re female – women are twice as likely as men to experience carpal tunnel syndrome
- You’ve had a previous wrist injury such as a dislocation or fracture, as prior injuries can cause a narrowing of the carpal tunnel
- You have fluid retention
- You have a job or regularly perform activities that require repetitive flexing of your wrist
- You have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or a thyroid disorder
- You have a narrow carpal tunnel
What symptoms are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel symptoms usually start out mild and gradually get worse. The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in your thumb, index, or middle fingers
- A “pins-and-needles” feeling, as if your hand has fallen asleep – this may be worse when you grip something
- Pain or discomfort in your hand or wrist
- Pain radiating from your hand or wrist up toward your shoulder
- Weakness in your hand, or difficulty gripping things
- Loss of finger coordination
- Loss of muscle at the base of your thumb (in severe cases)
How can I find permanent relief from carpal tunnel symptoms?
For some people, especially those with only mild cases, conservative treatments may provide relief from carpal tunnel symptoms.
Conservative treatments vary, but often include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling
- Avoiding activities that worsen symptoms
- Wearing a brace to keep the wrist immobile, especially at night
- Steroid injections
For those who have tried conservative measures but are still looking for relief from carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, Mirza Orthopedics is home to carpal tunnel treatment experts who specialize in minimally invasive surgery.
The doctors at Mirza Orthopedics have developed a minimally invasive procedure using a cutting edge endoscopic approach. Last year, with the help of A.M. Surgical (the medical device company started by Dr. Ather Mirza) they introduced a new device, unlike any other current offering in the world, that further enhances this procedure.
The A.M. Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release System utilizes a small, clear tube to provide complete protection and visualization of the median nerve as the surgery is performed. Not only does this increase the safety of the procedure, it also means:
- A smaller incision and smaller scar than open surgery
- Less trauma to tissue and less postoperative pain
- Earlier return to daily activities and normal range of motion
How can I get started?
You don’t have to live with pain. Contact Mirza Orthopedics today for a consultation with one of our experienced hand and wrist specialists to learn how you can find relief from carpal tunnel syndrome.