Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very common condition that affects upwards of four million people in the United States. If you experience symptoms of carpal tunnel, Town Center Orthopaedics in Ashburn, Centreville, Fairfax, and Reston, VA can help. Led by a team of highly skilled orthopaedic specialists, the practice is committed to finding the right treatment for each patient. To speak with a doctor about your carpal tunnel symptoms, schedule your visit by phone or online today.

Frequently Asked Questions About Carpal Tunnel

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition caused by pressure on the median nerve—one of the major nerves in your hand. The median nerve travels along your arm through a narrow passageway in your wrist called the carpal tunnel.

Any pressure or compression of the wrist and carpal tunnel can irritate the median nerve, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:

  • Tingling or numbness
  • Sharp or shooting pain
  • Weakness
  • Loss of motor control and sensation

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are often worse at night and frequently travel up the forearm toward the shoulder. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome find relief by shaking their hands. The condition tends to start off gradually, with symptoms becoming worse and more frequent over time.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel?

The causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can be anything that irritates the median nerve, such as bone fractures or tissue inflammation. In most cases, carpal tunnel is from a combination of overuse, repetitive motions, and keeping the hands and wrists in certain positions for prolonged periods.

Certain issues like wrist dislocation or arthritis can increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Genetics also plays a major role in determining your risks.

What Irritates Carpal Tunnel?

Outside of genetic factors, carpal tunnel is often irritated by repetitive actions that require persistent or repetitive flexing of the wrist. If a job requires constant movement of the wrist —such as manufacturing assembly or data entry— this can cause additional inflammation, worsening the condition.

Fortunately, reducing the force of your grip, using proper form and posture, and keeping your hands warm can all help mitigate the effects on carpal tunnel from repetitive workplace activities.

What are the Available Treatments for Carpal Tunnel?

Before recommending treatment, your doctor conducts an in-depth examination to accurately diagnose your symptoms. To begin your diagnosis, they perform a physical exam and review your medical history. In some cases, your doctor may perform additional testing like an X-ray or nerve conduction study.

Once diagnosed, your doctor determines the most effective treatment for your condition. In most cases, the specialists at Town Center Orthopaedics treat carpal tunnel syndrome with conservative non-surgical methods. Treatment for carpal tunnel may include:

  • Wrist splinting
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Physical and occupational therapy

The goal of conservative treatment is to relieve any pressure or inflammation that’s irritating the median nerve.

When Do You Need Carpal Tunnel Surgery?

If your condition doesn’t respond to conservative care, your doctor may recommend surgery. During carpal tunnel surgery, your doctor releases the ligaments pressing on the median nerve.

The specialists at Town Center Orthopaedics have extensive experience performing a number of surgeries, including minimally invasive procedures.

To learn more about your treatment options for carpal tunnel, call Town Center Orthopaedics, or book online today.

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