When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Concern Orange County Neurosurgical Institute - When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Concern

When Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a Concern

October 20, 2016 Admin
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A gradual and noticeable change in the ability to use the fingers and hand could be an indication of the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. This disorder involves the compression of a nerve in the wrist and can interfere with the comfortable and effective use of one or both hands for some people.

What Causes the Condition?

Many people associate carpal tunnel syndrome with work-related repetitive stress. In actuality, the condition can develop for a variety of reasons. The existence of other medical problems, a predisposition, wrist trauma, hormonal changes, and fluid retention all place a person at risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ultimately, any irritation or compression of the median nerve in the arm could result in the condition. It’s possible that the problem was triggered by an obvious cause, such as a fracture, or it could be the outcome of a collection of aggravating factors. Regardless of the cause, medical intervention should be sought out for a diagnosis.

What Symptoms Might Occur?

Symptoms generally appear gradually, typically in the form of tingling or burning sensations in the fingers or palm of the hand but can also travel up the arm to the shoulder. The ability to perform normal hand functions, such as gripping, may seem weakened or ineffective.

Left untreated, symptoms may persist, becoming constant. Eventually, everyday activities could become difficult to perform, and permanent damage is a risk.

What Can Be Done?

An accurate diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is key to implementing the appropriate treatment. A medical expert is able to perform tests that aid in ruling out other conditions. For example, pressing on the wrist and asking the patient if a change of sensation occurs in the hand may indicate that carpal tunnel syndrome is present. Ultrasounds and electro diagnostic tests also may contribute to the diagnosis.

Treatment for this condition usually depends on the level of nerve damage. Caught early enough, patients may only be asked to rest the effected wrist or apply ice packs for inflammation. The appropriate treatment of other medical concerns, such as diabetes, also need to be implemented in order to achieve desired results with carpal tunnel syndrome. For more advanced cases, physical therapy or even surgery may be the most effective option.

The Bottom Line

If carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected, the attention of a physician is warranted. This could prevent severe symptoms from developing or even shed light on underlying conditions that require medical supervision, thereby optimizing the patient’s chance for improving overall well-being.