Orthopedic Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 24. April 2017 11:36

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or median nerve entrapment is a condition that affects the functionality of hand. Median nerve passes from the forearm to the hand via a small passage known as carpal tunnel. It is responsible for providing sensation to the palm, thumb and three fingers of the hand. Any pressure upon the nerve may lead to this condition and cause the hand to function improperly.

Causes

  • Hereditary - Some people may have anatomic differences in the shape of their carpal tunnel leading to this condition. The trait can be running in various generations.  
  • Overuse Of Hand Muscles - Repeated use of hand and wrist may lead to inflammation of the tendons which puts pressure on the nerves.
  • Hand’s positions – Continuous flexion and extension of the wrist muscles may compress the median nerve.
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes during this period may be responsible for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Medical Conditions – Certain conditions like Arthritis, thyroid imbalance, Diabetes may also be responsible for the dysfunction of wrist.

Symptoms

  • Pain radiating towards the forearm.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in thumb, index, middle and ring fingers.
  • Weakness in the hands.
  • Difficulty in gripping objects.
  • Stiffness in the fingers, specifically in the morning.

Diagnosis

  • Physical Examination – The doctor may apply pressure with hand or a finger at the position of the nerve and check whether the patient feeling any numbness or not. He may also look for any kind of atrophy at the base of the thumb and fingers.
  • Imaging Tests – To have a clearer picture of the condition and to eliminate the possibility of other disorders, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests.
  • Electrophysiological Tests – These diagnostic tests include nerve conduction studies and electromyography. They let the doctor know about how well is the median nerve working and responding to the normal stimuli.
  • X-rays – If a patient has limited wrist motion, the doctor may recommend an X-ray test. I will allow the doctor to view all the bony structures of the hand.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - This test may be suggested by the doctor to visualize the surrounding tissues, ligaments and tendons.

Treatment –

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • The orthopedic doctor may ask the patients to wear braces or splints, so that the affected area could be immobilized for some time. This may help to remove the pressure from the nerve.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may be suggested by the doctors to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Modification in activities that lead to worsening of pain may also be suggested.
  • Exercise that may help to restore the mobility of wrist may also be recommend by the doctors. E.g. Nerve gliding exercises.

Surgical Treatment

  • Open Carpal Tunnel Release – In this procedure the orthopedic surgeon may make a small incision in patient’s wrist and cut the ligament forming the root of carpal tunnel. This may widen the tunnel and reduce pressure on the median nerve.
  • Endoscopy - The orthopedic surgeon may make one or two small incisions over the wrist and insert a small camera called endoscope into the affected area. After visualizing the extent of damage the surgeon may transversally divide the carpal tunnel and broaden it to reduce pressure from the nerve.

For complete treatment and diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Dr. Knoll. To request an appointment with the hand and wrist specialist, call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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