Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a space in the wrist where a nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when swelling in the tunnel compresses the median nerve. As a result of the pressure on the median nerve, patients with carpal tunnel syndrome may experience symptoms including pain, weakness, tingling and numbness.
This condition is common in people who perform repetitive wrist and hand motions, such as typing on a computer keyboard. It also affects those who grip tightly or uses their wrists consistently, such as cyclists, meat cutters, and musicians. Other things that may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome include trauma and medical conditions such as diabetes and thyroid disease.
Many nonsurgical courses of treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome are available, such as lifestyle changes, splints or braces to immobilize the wrist, oral anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections. If nonsurgical treatment is not successful in resolving the pain or treatment is sought too late, surgery may be required. This surgery involves enlarging the carpal tunnel, which will relieve the swelling and pressure on the nerve.