What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Hand & Upper Extremity | October 27, 2022
man holding wrist

If you’ve been dealing with numbness in your hand that wakes you up during the night, you may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), a disorder commonly affecting people over 40. While CTS can be painful and worsen over time, you can manage symptoms with several treatment options.

In this article, we will examine the basics of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, including:

  • Symptoms
  • Causes & Risk Factors
  • Treatment Options

What Exactly is CTS, and What are Some Causes?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (also called CTS) is a disorder that impacts the median nerve in your wrist and hand.

The median nerve is responsible for communicating feelings and sensations to your palm and first four fingers (pinky not included). When the tendons and soft tissue surrounding the median nerve swell, the nerve may become compressed, resulting in hand numbness that is worse at night.

The causes of CTS are diverse, and it can impact people differently. While CTS creates nerve symptoms, the root cause is often swelling around the nerve in the closed space of the carpal tunnel.

Some contributing factors include:

  • A congenitally small carpal tunnel
  • Pregnancy
  • Tendonitis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Vibration exposure
  • Injury

Common Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of CTS are felt in the palm and fingers. Some symptoms include:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Fingers feeling swollen, even if there is no swelling
  • Hand or wrist weakness
  • Tingling when performing daily activities like
    • Writing
    • Typing
    • Reading a book
    • Driving

If left untreated, permanent nerve damage may occur, resulting in permanent tingling and weakness.

Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment

As with any injury or condition, the earlier you can diagnose CTS, the earlier you can begin treatment and lessen symptoms and permanent nerve damage.

The team at OrthoGeorgia is skilled in diagnosing and treating hand conditions. We have Central Georgia’s only fellowship-trained hand specialists, and their expertise can significantly impact your treatment plan and outcomes.

During the diagnosis process, your OrthoGeorgia specialist may order electrodiagnostic studies. Treatments can vary based on your doctor’s recommendation and any underlying causes of CTS.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery to relieve CTS pain is among the most common procedures in the United States. It generally involves reducing pressure on the median nerve by dividing a ligament. The procedure is minimally invasive and is done in the outpatient setting.

Non-Surgical Treatments

There are alternative treatments to manage CTS without undergoing a surgical procedure. Some treatments can include:

  • Splinting your wrist at night
  • Steroid injection
  • Activity modification

Our Hand Specialists are Ready to Care for You. Call (478) 745-4206 Today!

Trust the Orthopaedic Experts at OrthoGeorgia!

OrthoGeorgia has provided excellent, cutting-edge orthopaedic care for more than 60 years. Our specialists, surgeons, and occupational and physical therapists are the go-to choice for people in Georgia, from elite athletes to dedicated weekend warriors.

Our team is eager to help you enjoy an active life free from debilitating pain.

We’re Ready to Care for You and Your Family. Call Us at (478) 745-4206 Today!

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Personalized Orthopaedic Care in Central Georgia

At OrthoGeorgia, we want to help you live a healthier and more comfortable life by giving those in Macon, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Dublin, Hawkinsville, and the surrounding areas convenient access to the highest quality care. Whether you have been suffering from a sports injury or a common orthopaedic condition, we will determine the cause of your discomfort and craft a personalized treatment plan to bring you relief. To learn more about our services and our physicians, or to schedule an appointment at OrthoGeorgia, please contact us today.

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