The Aches and Pains of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

August 24th, 2011

It's not uncommon to have minor painor tingling in the fingers and wrists from time-to-time. For patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, however, this numbness can be so debilitating that it may restrict daily activities.

“Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when one of the nerves that runs through the wrist becomes pressed or squeezed,” says Jonas Matzon, MD, a hand, wrist and elbow surgeon at the Rothman Institute. “This can cause numbness, weakness or pain in the hand and wrist.”

Carpal Tunnel Syndromecan be brought on by years of activities that involve repetitive motions, such as driving, typing or working with tools. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness or a “pins-and-needles” sensation in the fingers
  • Numbness that gets worse when bending the wrist
  • Numbness that awakens you at night
  • Hand weakness
  • Aching pain in thehand,wrist or forearm
  • Finger stiffness in the morning

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually begins with a conservative approach. Many patients are first given a splint to wear on their wristat night and may receive cortisone shots to relieve symptoms. If the numbness persists or becomes more severe, surgery may be a more effective option.

“Carpal tunnel release surgery is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure thatis performedthrough a small incision on the palm side of the wrist,” says Dr. Matzon.

“During the procedure, we release the pressure on the compressed nerves. Thisusually alleviates all symptoms and patients are able to recover quickly with little scarring and pain.”

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