Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common conditions of the hand that we deal with at our Gilbert/Mesa clinics.  Dr. Dinowitz of Mezona (Ortho Arizona) utilizes a number of methods to effectively treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome results from irritation to a particular nerve in your wrist called the Median nerve. The compression of this nerve causes a painful and chronic condition that affects your hand and wrist but can also be experienced as symptoms in the forearm. The inflammation of your median nerve in your carpal tunnel commonly leads to symptoms such as aching, numbness, pain, tingling and weakness in your hand and fingers. The condition can also cause clumsiness of the fingers because the Median nerve controls both the feeling and control of the first three fingers and thumb of your hand.  When carpal tunnel syndrome (also called Median neuropathy at the wrist) becomes severe, it can seriously affect the function of your hand.

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What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
When the Median nerve in your carpal tunnel is compressed, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs. This may occur as the result of an illness which leads to inflammation and swelling at the wrist such as rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be caused by endocrine problems like diabetes and hypothyroidism. In cases of obesity and pregnancy, extra pressure can be exerted on the Median nerve at the wrist. Injuries to your wrist, such as fracture, can put you at a greater risk for compression. Your lifestyle choices can also be factors in causing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Repetitive movements, such as typing or working with hand tools, can aggravate pressure on your median nerve.  This can be a real problem because CTS will cause sensory loss and pain in the fingers, making these tasks more difficult. Smoking can also increase your risk for CTS, as it reduces the blood flow to the nerve throughout your body.

 

Numbness, tingling, pain in the fingers and frequently dropping objects from the hand….Common Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Pain in the hand and fingers is an extremely common symptom of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  These symptoms typically occur at night and may even interrupt sleep.  Most patients will describe waking up at night with a sensation that all the blood has drained from their hand or as if they have fallen asleep on their hand. Numbness and tingling are also very common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, leading to a “pins and needles” type feeling in your forearm, hand, wrist and fingers. Some patients feel like their hand “fell asleep” and may need to move around or shake their arm and hand to get the numbness to subside. Weakness in your hands and arms can be signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as well.  Weakness and incoordination of the fingers is a more serious sign of CTS.  Some may notice that they have trouble grasping small objects with the fingers, making them more prone to dropping objects such as cups, coins or keys.

How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
A medical examination is the first step when determining if the numbness and tingling and pain in your hand is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. During this exam, your physician will test sensation as well as strength along with other special tests that are intended to provoke the symptoms.

After this physical exam your doctor may order specific tests to further investigate the severity of your condition. Some of these tests may include Electromyogram (EMG), Ultrasound or a Nerve Conduction Study (NCS). Your doctor may also order blood work to be certain that you do not have any underlying conditions that may be causing your condition, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or a thyroid disorder.

What Can be Done to Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Dr. Dinowitz at Mezona Orthopaedic Group in Mesa and Gilbert, AZ is a highly experienced orthopedic hand surgeon and a specialist in hand conditions.  He offers a range of options for treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome both surgical and conservative. If you are a Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa or Arizona resident with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and you are seeking an orthopedic specialist please feel free to contact us today for your appointment.


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