The carpal tunnel is a space between the carpal ligament and the bones at the base of the hand.

carpal-tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful irritation of the median nerve in the hand and wrist. CTS develops over time due to repetitive hand motions. This condition can cause pain, numbness or tingling in the hand and fingers.

The carpal tunnel is the space between the carpal ligament and the bones at the base of the hand and is where the tendons which flex the thumb, ring and index finger pass through. It is also where the median nerve passes through—this nerve supplies filling to the thumb, ring and index finger.

Some of the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are:

  • Stiffness
  • Cramping
  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • clumsiness
  • loss of feeling and numbness in the hand

These symptoms if not treated can spread beyond the hand and spread up the arm or even beyond the elbow.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

CTS can be caused by a number of factors that increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel, instead of a problem with the nerve itself. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be caused by a number of contributing factors such as congenital predisposition, in this case the carpal tunnel is simply smaller in some people or trauma or injury to the wrist which can cause swelling. This can include:

  • Sprains
  • Fractures
  • Over activity of the pituitary gland
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Mechanical problems in the wrist joint
  • Work stress
  • Repeated use of vibrating hand tools
  • Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also associated with diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disease as well as pregnancy. However, there are some cases of CTS where no cause can be ascertained.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

At Coastal Plastic Surgery we offer surgical and non-surgical treatments. What treatment you receive will ultimately depend on the severity of the condition; whether or not there is any nerve damage or if other treatment has helped.  Surgery is generally recommended if and when other treatment has not helped. Other instances where surgery may be required is the length of time you have had CTS or if there is nerve damage or the possibility of nerve damage. The surgical treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome involves cutting the ligament forming the roof of the carpal tunnel. What this does is relieves the pressure being placed on the median nerve. This should ease or end the symptoms of CTS.

For more information on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or to book a consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.