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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Symptoms & Treatment:

Updated: Apr 21


INTRODUCTION

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when one of the nerves that supplies the hand (median nerve) gets compressed in a tunnel in the wrist area

  • Pressure builds in this closed tunnel, leading to irritation of the nerve, which causes pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand

  • It primarily affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers, since those fingers are supplied by the median nerve

  • 5%: Prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome in the general population

CAUSES

  • Multiple repetitive wrist movements can predispose patients to carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Pregnancy and some medical conditions can lead to changes that increase the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, and middle fingers

  • Hand pain

  • Difficulty gripping, dropping objects

TREATMENT

  • First line of treatment is night-time wrist brace immobilization, rest, and anti-inflammatories

  • Steroid injections may help decrease inflammation and improve carpal tunnel symptoms

  • Surgical release is the definitive treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, if conservative management fails. Surgery is minimally invasive and involves releasing the transverse carpal ligament. It is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia and mild sedation. Recovery is quick

PREVENTION

  • Avoid repetitive wrist motions and constant gripping motions




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