House Call: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Prevention & Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common form of compressive neuropathy (direct pressure on the nerve), occurring in approximately 6 to 8 percent of the population.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve, which is the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand. Therefore, the condition can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Factors and conditions that have been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome include smaller than average carpal tunnel canals, diabetes, arthritis, gout, dialysis, thyroid issues and increased body mass index (BMI).
Activities that can aggravate the condition include putting on make-up, driving a car and flipping the pages of a book.
Individuals who are experiencing feeling sensations of numbness and/or tingling in the wrist, hand and/or fingers, should go to an orthopedic or related specialist for evaluation. Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed through the use of a physical exam, ultrasound and/or nerve conduction studies.
Once the condition is diagnosed, conservative management is the first line of treatment, including wearing a splint at night, anti-inflammatory medication and cortisone injections.
If conservative methods stop working, surgical intervention may be needed to avoid muscular atrophy that can occur over time if the condition remains untreated. Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is an outpatient procedure in which the patient returns home the same day, with a fairly short recovery period.
Cone Health Orthopedic Center of Excellence has an exceptional network of highly-trained orthopedic specialists and related healthcare professionals who are dedicated to treating patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions throughout the community.
Dr. Gary Kuzma is an orthopaedic surgeon at Orthopaedic & Hand Specialist and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Kuzma completed medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY, served his internship at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, and his Orthopaedic Residency at SUNY Upstate Medical Center. His Hand and Microvascular Surgery Fellowships were through Hartford (CT) Hospital and Jewish Hospital, Lexington, KY.