Carpal tunnel syndrome involves the swelling of the tendons in the wrist due to:
The swelling puts pressure on the nerve that travels to the hand. This causes numbness of the hand and fingers.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, there is no single cause of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Factors that often increase the risk include:
Along with these predisposing factors, other issues that can cause carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Without proper treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can make daily activities very tough, such as:
It can lead to a feeling of clumsiness. As the syndrome intensifies, there may be some visual deformities around the wrist tendons.
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Carpal tunnel syndrome often produces symptoms gradually or during specific activities, like typing or working. Over time, symptoms can present more frequently and for longer periods.
The most common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
At the beginning stages of carpal tunnel syndrome, shaking out the wrists may temporary help relieve symptoms.
As it progresses, you may need further treatment to manage your carpal tunnel pain and symptoms.
Doctors diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome by looking at your medical history and testing the:
Common tests for diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome include:
Treatment for carpal tunnel primarily aims to avoid activities that irritate the wrist and hand.
Orthopaedic experts at UPMC may recommend periods of rest at first for relief.
Since the carpal tunnel syndrome worsens over time, further treatment methods seek to:
At UPMC Orthopaedic Care, we offer nonsurgical and surgical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome relief.
Treatment plans often begin with nonsurgical methods, such as:
If your symptoms persist even after nonsurgical treatments, your doctor may recommend carpal tunnel syndrome surgery.
Some common surgical treatments your doctor may choose, based on your symptoms and syndrome severity, may include:
Treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome, when implemented quickly, can be effective in preserving and even restoring function in the wrists, hands, and fingers.
It's also vital to make accommodations into your routine if you are predisposed to developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Following any sort of surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, you should expect:
Doctors may instruct you to:
Failure to follow doctors' post-op orders can lead to further problems and related complications.
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