Nerve Compression (Carpal Tunnel)

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve at the wrist and causes numbness, tingling and pain in the arm, hand and fingers.

Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 

Carpal tunnel syndrome usually causes pain, numbness and tingling in the arm, hand and fingers. Symptoms usually take place in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers and are felt during the night and during daily activities like driving or typing. Carpal tunnel syndrome may also cause a weakened grip, clumsiness and a tendency to drop things.


Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pressure on the nerve running through the wrist can happen in several different ways. Swelling of the linings of tendons, joint dislocations, fractures, arthritis, and keeping your elbow bent for long periods of time can constrict the tunnel causing the nerve to be pinched. Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes also can be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.


Your Treatment Options

The symptoms caused by carpal tunnel syndrome may be relieved without surgery. Identifying and changing the hand use patterns that cause inflammation and wearing wrist splints are effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome. A steroid injection into the carpal tunnel may also help reduce swelling and alleviate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

If non-surgical treatments are not effective, your hand surgeon may suggest a carpal tunnel release. Through a carpal tunnel release, your surgeon will cut the ligament forming the top of the constricted tunnel, releasing the pressure on the nerve in the wrist. Carpal tunnel release is normally very effective and can result in significant improvement in your numbness, pain and hand function.