Carpal tunnel first starts with numbness and tingling in the fingers. At first, you may dismiss it as nothing serious as it comes and goes in the early stages. However, as carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, the symptoms become more intense, and may even interrupt your sleep. In its very advanced stage, carpal tunnel syndrome can make it difficult to grip things, which is what you need to do to open doorknobs, eat, drink, brush your teeth, write, and hold objects.
Why Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Develops
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that results from the median nerve becoming irritated or inflamed. The median nerve goes through the carpal tunnel, which is located in your wrist. This space is narrow, and should there be any obstruction, it could affect the palm of your hand and fingers. An inflamed median nerve can affect the feeling in the index, middle, and ring fingers.
A common cause of an irritated median nerve is too much pressure on it. Repetitive movements and the use of vibrating tools are both risk factors. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often a work-related injury. Swelling of soft tissues such as the synovium and one of the tendons that also pass through the canal can cause a narrowing of the space, which puts pressure on the median nerve.
Being aware of how you treat your hands is the first step to relieving symptoms. You need to make changes in your workstation if you work on a desk or learn better techniques if you do manual labor. You may also need to wear a splint at night to help relieve symptoms. There are several treatments available for carpal tunnel syndrome, but you need a definitive diagnosis from a doctor. Diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome can involve an electrophysiologic test, which will reveal nerve compression.
What Happens If It Is Left Untreated?
If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome could lead to weakness, lack of coordination, and permanent nerve damage. When carpal tunnel syndrome begins to disrupt your routine, make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Taking action soon could mean avoiding nerve damage. A lot of people with carpal tunnel syndrome tend to wait until they’ve completely gone numb in the hand. This could lead to irreversible nerve damage. Whether you need conservative treatment or surgery, carpal tunnel syndrome can be successfully treated. Carpal tunnel release surgery has an over 95 percent success rate, provided it’s not done too late.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Clinton Township, MI
No one wants to lose functionality of their hands, and carpal tunnel syndrome causes just that. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll of Movement Orthopedics is highly experienced in treating carpal tunnel syndrome in patients of all ages and backgrounds. He skillfully performs carpal tunnel release surgery with great success and patient satisfaction. As part of treatment, physical therapy services are also provided to our patients to regain strength, flexibility, and function of the hand. To make an appointment with Dr. Carroll, call our Clinton Township orthopedic clinic at (586) 436-3785 or use our online request form.