Patients who struggle with carpal tunnel know how painful and debilitating it can be, especially if they use their hands every day for work. The carpal tunnel is the area in the wrist that protects a nerve called the median nerve. This nerve runs down the arm and into the hand, passing through the wrist. It is responsible for providing sensation in the fingers and thumb and controlling many hand movements. When the median nerve is compressed or irritated, patients may notice wrist and finger discomfort, including tingling sensations and numbness, which is often diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Many patients who have this condition report:
- Gradual aching in the wrists and down through the hand
- Tingling and numbness in the fingers or thumb
- Pain radiating down the arm, through the wrist, and to the fingers
- Weakness in the arm and hand, making it difficult to grasp objects
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
The doctor will evaluate a patient’s medical history and provide a thorough physical examination. In some instances, diagnostic testing such as EMGs and other nerve testing may be utilized in providing a definitive diagnosis of CTS.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
In most cases, mild to moderate cases of CTS can be treated with rest, ice packs, corticosteroid injections, or anti-inflammatory medications. Some patients may even wear wrist splints or visit a physical therapist to reduce common symptoms. However, if a patient has a severe case of CTS that is impacting their daily life and cannot be addressed with more conservative treatments, they may require hand surgery. Hand surgery is often performed to cut the ligaments that are pressing on the median nerve and causing the discomfort experienced by the patient.
Discuss the possibility of hand surgery for severe carpal tunnel
If you live in the Long Island area and want to learn more about the procedure for treating carpal tunnel, our doctors encourage you to book an appointment at any one of our office locations by calling (631) 689-6698. With a full evaluation and medical history, patients will be able to obtain a knowledgeable recommendation from our providers regarding the best treatment option moving forward.