Commonwealth Orthopaedic Associates
Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Reading, PA
Numbness, tingling, and pain in your hand and arm may be warning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. The highly trained team surgeons at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Associates diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome at their location in Reading, Pennsylvania. If you suspect you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, call or book an appointment online today.
Carpal Tunnel Q & A
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a thin passageway that measures about an inch wide and runs along the palm side of your wrist. The tunnel is created by the small carpal bones of your wrist and the transverse carpal ligament on top.
The median nerve, which provides feeling to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, runs through this narrow tunnel. The nine tendons that move all your fingers also run through the carpal tunnel.
With rigid boundaries that don’t allow for much stretching, the carpal tunnel is a tight squeeze. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed or pinched in this passageway.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Since the median nerve serves the thumb through the ring finger, most carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms affect these fingers. Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Pain, numbness, tingling, or burning in the affected fingers
- Shock-like sensations that radiate into the affected fingers
- Pain or tingling that travels up toward the shoulder
You may also notice weakness or clumsiness in the hand that makes it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks like buttoning your clothes.
Who is at Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Anyone can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, but studies show that women and older adults are more likely to get this condition. Other risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Having inherited a smaller carpal tunnel from family
- Having a health condition such as arthritis
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Previous wrist injuries such as a fracture
You may also irritate the tissues within your carpal tunnel by overusing your wrist during repetitive movements.
How Do You Diagnose and Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
First, your expert provider at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Associates performs a thorough physical exam and reviews your medical history. They may press on or move your hand to check for signs of carpal tunnel syndrome such as pain or tingling.
To determine the severity of your condition, they may take tests such as:
- Nerve conduction study
- X-ray or MRI
Then, they develop a personalized treatment plan to relieve your hand pain and symptoms. Depending on your needs, treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome may include:
- Bracing or splinting your wrist
- Steroid injections
- Medications to reduce pain and inflammation
If your symptoms don’t improve with conservative treatment, the team at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Associates may recommend surgery. They perform carpal tunnel release procedures to take pressure off the nerve.
To learn more about treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome, call Commonwealth Orthopaedic Associates or book an appointment online.
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