Carpal tunnel syndrome is quickly becoming an epidemic for American workers. Every year, there are nearly 1 million diagnosed cases and over 230,000 surgeries performed to treat the condition. Resulting from increased pressure on the median nerve as it passes through the wrist, carpal tunnel mainly affects those whose work requires repetitive motion of the hands or fingers. This may include occupations such as office worker, assembly line worker, or construction worker.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can begin gradually. At first, signs such as numbness in the hand or tingling of the fingers may be temporary or occur only at night. Over time, however, such symptoms can worsen, last for longer periods of time, and become more difficult to resolve. Commonly noted symptoms include:
- Numbness and Tingling - This is a hallmark symptom of carpal tunnel and is often the first sign of the condition. The fingers typically affected are the thumb, index, and middle.
- Pain and Cramping - Over time, the tingling of pins and needles can give way to cramps, shooting pains, or burning sensations in the hand, wrist, and forearm.
- Muscle Weakness and Stiffness - As compression of the median nerve worsens, patients may find that their hand strength and grip begins to weaken, causing them to drop objects. Likewise, muscle stiffness, particularly in the mornings, may also become commonplace.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment in Zachary
Not every case of carpal tunnel syndrome requires surgery. In fact, most can be effectively managed with pain medication, lifestyle modifications, wrist splints, and in some cases, physical therapy or steroid injections. In more severe cases, or in those where more conservative treatment options have failed, carpal tunnel release is a safe and effective surgery that typically provides favorable results.
To learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome and available treatment methods, contact Lane Regional Medical Center and request an appointment with one of our orthopedic hand specialists. You can learn more about our practice and physicians by clicking the button below.