The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome often start as a numbness or tingling sensation in the hands, leading to improper function of the hand or unbearable pain that shoots up the arm. Unfortunately, this quick progression is not uncommon, which is why seeking treatment as soon as possible is incredibly important in hopes of avoiding the need for surgical intervention. Specialists at Floridaboneandjoint.com specialize in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and are a trusted source for an orthopedic surgeon in Altamonte Springs if such intervention is required.
Looking closer at carpal tunnel syndrome and the measures that can be taken to restore full function and feeling in the hand is likely to help reduce anxiety about seeking treatment.
The median nerve travels down the arm and into the hand through the carpal tunnel, located on the wrist's underside. This essential nerve controls the feeling and movement of the thumb and all fingers except the pinky. The carpal tunnel provides a passageway for the median nerve and nine flexor tendons. These nine tendons are responsible for allowing fingers to bend. The flexor tendons are surrounded by synovium, tissues that provide lubrication to assist the tendons in moving freely. Numbness and tingling in the hands manifest due to swelling of the synovium, putting pressure on the median nerve. The swelling does not resolve without treatment and often worsens, causing radiating pain and loss of function because of further compression of the median nerve.
Since CTS is a gradual condition, this provides ample opportunity to begin treatment to relieve the swelling, typically starting conservatively. After examining your wrist visually and with advanced imaging, a specialist may also use a nerve conduction study to measure how severely the median nerve has been affected. Then, with the help of a precise diagnosis, the specialist can determine the best course of action moving forward.
In many cases, a simple brace may be the answer to resolving the problem. The special brace is used to immobilize the wrist into a straight or neutral position to relieve the pressure on the nerve and allow time for the swelling to decrease. Swelling is complicated and tends to compound quickly, but using the brace as directed arrests movement around the afflicted area, encouraging the swelling to be reduced. In addition, the specialist may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy exercises, or a reduction in usage of the hand along with wearing the brace.
While it is commonly possible to treat CTS without surgery, surgery may prove to be the best option for recovery if the condition is unresponsive to initial treatment. CTS left untreated can eventually lead to irreversible muscle and nerve damage in your thumb.
CTS surgery is a relatively simple procedure that is typically performed on an outpatient basis. The goal of the surgery is to release your carpal tunnel by cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel. The surgery can be performed endoscopically or through a minimal incision along the palm of the hand, often providing quick relief. More room in the carpal tunnel allows the nerve space to heal correctly, but the Orthopedic Surgeon may still order some exercise to help stimulate the healing process.
If you still have questions about carpal tunnel syndrome, specialists at floridaboneandjoint.com practice diagnosis and treatment of CTS. In addition, we have an Orthopedic Surgeon in Altamonte Springs to answer questions and initiate treatment.