The long hours’ many employees spend at their jobs – performing the same movements over and over again – are linked to numerous musculoskeletal problems, especially in your neck, back, shoulders, and hands. Sitting all day typing and using your mouse at a computer can cause compression of the median nerve in the wrist, which can make your hand and wrist area feel numb or painful. If your symptoms manifest frequently, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fortunately, patients who have carpal tunnel syndrome have various treatment options. If you are experiencing symptoms that you think may indicate this syndrome or something similar, it is in your best interest to visit an orthopedic clinic for an evaluation and treatment.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by a tingly sensation, numbness, and pain in your fingers, wrists, and arms. One indicator is that it can affect all fingers in the affected hand except the pinkie. The median nerve runs through your arm and to the hand through the carpal tunnel in your wrist, and it is responsible for sending signals for sensation and muscle movement between the brain and your hand.
When the nerve is repeatedly compressed in the carpal tunnel, you may experience the various symptoms of the syndrome. You may also have difficulty in grasping or pinching. The pain may worsen at night, in cold temperatures, or whenever you perform certain activities with the affected hand and arm.
While this syndrome is often linked with desk jobs and incorrect hand and wrist positions, it can also be initiated by other factors. Genetics, injuries, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and health problems (like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis) can also increase your susceptibility to the condition.
Orthopedic Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Generally, orthopedic specialists will first exhaust nonsurgical modalities before turning to surgery. Depending on your specific condition, you may have a combination of several options included in your recommended treatment plan:
Your doctor may advise you to rest the area and wear a splint in order to support your wrist and keep it in a neutral position. This reduces the pressure on the median nerve. This method is especially advisable for pregnant women with carpal tunnel syndrome because it doesn’t involve medications.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can alleviate pain and swelling due to the compressed nerve. If oral medication is not effective in alleviating your symptoms, your orthopedic physician may recommend and provide corticosteroid injections.
You may have to change some of your activities to avoid adding to the pressure on your median nerve. Your orthopedist will likely recommend that you either avoid these activities altogether or that you take regular breaks and make adjustments to your workspace, alleviating pressure on your wrist.
An orthopedic clinic can also provide surgical interventions for carpal tunnel syndrome.
In open release surgery, your doctor opens and widens the carpal tunnel through a 2-inch incision. They will cut the transverse carpal ligament, which is located above the carpal tunnel. Cutting this ligament creates more space for the median nerve and alleviates the compression.
In endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, your orthopedic surgeon creates two small half-inch incisions in your wrist and palm. The procedure is performed with an endoscope, which is a thin tube with camera functionality at one end to give your doctor a view of the nerve and the tunnel. The carpal ligament is cut similarly to what is done in an open release, but this surgery has a much shorter recovery time and fewer risks because of the smaller incisions.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Pembroke Pines and Lauderdale Lakes
If you are experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, consult an orthopedic physician as soon as possible. Here at Total Orthopaedic Care, our specialists are rich in knowledge and experience in orthopedic diagnosis and treatment. Rest assured that we will give you a full evaluation and recommend the most minimal treatment necessary for a safe and faster recovery.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call us today at (954) 735-3535 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back to your life so you can enjoy living pain-free once again.