Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute
Orthopedic Surgeons located in Tuscaloosa, AL
Pain, numbness, and tingling are common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. These symptoms usually worsen over time. At Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute in Northport, Alabama, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Bryan King, MD, and his team offer nonsurgical and surgical management of carpal tunnel syndrome to ease or eliminate your symptoms and prevent things from getting worse. For a consultation, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Carpal Tunnel Q & A
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway between your wrist and hand through which your median nerve travels. The median nerve provides sensation to your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger. The median nerve also controls muscle movement in your thumb.
The symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome develop when your median nerve is compressed or pinched as it passes through the carpal tunnel. This compression can develop due to narrowing of the passageway because of:
- A genetically too-small carpal tunnel
- Swelling of the surrounding tissue
- The positioning of your hand or wrist that compresses the nerve
You can be more at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome if you engage in activities that require repetitive wrist and hand movements. Women during pregnancy are also at greater risk of the condition due to hormonal changes that increase fluid retention and swelling.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms generally start out mild and worsen over time. Common symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers
- Pain or burning sensation in the hand or fingers
- Weakness in your grip
- Pain that travels into your forearm
It’s very common to experience these symptoms at night or when you first wake up in the morning, especially if you sleep with your wrists bent. You can also experience symptoms during the day if you have to hold your hand or wrist in the same position for an extended period of time.
What can I expect during a carpal tunnel evaluation?
The team at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute does a thorough exam when you visit the office with concerns about carpal tunnel syndrome.
To provide the most effective treatment plan, the team reviews your symptoms and medical history and evaluates your wrist. Diagnostic tests like X-rays, nerve conduction studies, and electromyograms can be used to determine the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
The team at Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute develops personalized treatment plans for managing your carpal tunnel syndrome. Your plan could initially include nonsurgical treatments like changes in your activities, use of a wrist splint, and/or steroid injections.
If your symptoms are severe or worsening despite conservative treatments, the team will then recommend carpal tunnel release, a surgical procedure that relieves pressure on your median nerve to reduce your symptoms.
To discuss your options for carpal tunnel syndrome offered by a compassionate and experienced team, contact Tuscaloosa Orthopedic & Joint Institute by phone or online today.