Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Numbness and tingling in the hands, particularly involving the thumb, index finger, long finger, and part of the ring finger can be a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also manifest itself as pain in the hands and forearms that wakes one at night, or as weakness when handling small objects. Individuals with hypothyroidism, diabetes, peripheral edema, and pregnant women are predisposed to developing this condition.
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve. This nerve travels from its origin in the cervical spinal cord, through the neck and arm, entering the hand through the carpal tunnel at the wrist. The tendons to the fingers also travel through this tunnel. A band of connective tissue at the base of the palm called the deep transverse carpal ligament, forms the roof of the carpal tunnel. This structure can compress the median nerve. Surgical release of the ligament relieves the compression on the nerve, allowing it to recover.
The procedure is performed under local anesthetic as an outpatient procedure. If compression has been longstanding, sometimes irreversible nerve damage may have occurred which limits how much return of function or sensation can be realized.
Other Nerve Compression Syndromes
Numbness, tingling, weakness, and pain can result from nerve compression in other areas of the upper extremity or elsewhere in the body. A few examples are:
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (ulnar nerve)
- Wartenberg’s Sydrome (radial nerve)
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome (tibial nerve)
It is important to recognize that nerves can be compressed or injured at any point along their path, from the neck to the end target. Please contact our office for more information about the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.
Temporary swelling, bruising, some pain
Persistent pain, bleeding, infection, damage to the nerve, incomplete improvement
Gentle full range of motion: 24 hours; heavy gripping: 4-6 weeks
3 months for swelling and discomfort to completely resolve