Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

hands typing on a computer keyboard

Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve in your wrist is compressed, causing weakness, tingling, and numbness in your hand. Hand surgeons are medical specialists who treat patients with carpal tunnel syndrome and related conditions.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

doctor wrapping patient's hand in bandage

The onset of symptoms is often gradual and includes tingling and numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. These sensations may also be present from your wrist to your arm. You may also experience weakness in the hand, which leads to dropping objects that you try to hold.

What are the causes of and risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome?

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the forearm via the wrist to the hand. The passageway in the wrist, called the carpal tunnel, is narrow. If the median nerve is inflamed or compressed, it may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

There are a number of risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome, including:

· Damage to the wrist (due to a fracture or arthritis).
· Obesity.
· Chronic diseases such as diabetes which may lead to nerve damage.
· Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
· Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause.
· Prolonged or repetitive use of the risk through sport or work activity.
· Medical conditions such as thyroid disorders or kidney disease.

Enquire with our hand surgeons.

Did you know?

A recent study in Singapore examined the relief from carpal tunnel syndrome related numbness post-operatively.¹

What are the possible complications of carpal tunnel syndrome?

closeup of two people holding hands

Complications of carpal tunnel syndrome are not common, but may include atrophy and weakness of the muscles at the base of the thumb. If you require surgery, there may be potential complications as in any surgical procedure. Your hand surgeon will discuss these with you before any decision is made.

When should I see a specialist for carpal tunnel syndrome treatment?

It is recommended that you seek a professional opinion if you are experiencing persistent symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If this condition remains untreated, serious and irreversible nerve and muscle damage may result. Early diagnosis and treatment will improve your chances of recovery and help to avoid surgical treatment.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

Before you visit your hand surgeon, prepare any questions you may have and be ready to discuss your symptoms in detail. Your doctor will also need you to establish a timeline, so reflect on how and when your symptoms commenced.

How do specialists diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome?

Your hand surgeon will ask for details on your symptoms and perform a physical examination. You may need to have further tests such as an X-ray, a blood test, or a nerve conduction study.

What treatments are available for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Once your diagnosis has been confirmed, your hand surgeon will decide on a treatment plan, based on the severity of your condition. Successful treatment may be possible via nonsurgical options such as wrist splints, protecting your wrist on a day-to-day basis, using pain and inflammation medication, or steroid injections if appropriate.

If your symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatment or you have sustained severe damage to your median nerve, you may require surgery.

Request an appointment with a hand surgeon today.

[1] Tang CQY, Lai SWH, Tay SC. Patient-reported outcomes of carpal tunnel release surgery in patients with bilateral severe carpal tunnel syndrome. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2017 Nov;42(9):932-936. doi: 10.1177/1753193417721456.