Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Tingling, Numbness, and Pain
Tingling, numbness, or pain in the fingers and hand can be an indication of carpal tunnel syndrome. When left untreated, this condition can result in permanent dysfunction of the hand and fingers.
Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin serving Austin, TX, and beyond can diagnose your condition and provide you with treatment.
Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. Your median nerve and nearby tendons extend from your forearm to the hand through a small tube-like space in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. Because the median nerve controls the movement and sensation in the majority of your hand and fingers through your ring finger, you may experience several uncomfortable symptoms if you have carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand or forearm
- Pain or discomfort in the hand, wrist, forearm, or elbow
- Difficulty performing everyday tasks
- A shock-like sensation radiating from the center of the hand to the fingertips
Patients often note that their symptoms develop in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger, but not in the little finger.
Relieve Your Discomfort and Preserve Function
With Our Team of Specialists in Austin, TX
Tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand or fingers can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. You may find yourself dropping things more often and waking up in the middle of the night due to the uncomfortable symptoms. You don't have to live life with discomfort and reduced function. Our specialists are here to help you explore treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome. To get started, contact our offices serving Austin, TX, today:
Why Austin, TX, Chooses Us for Treatment
Each of our orthopedic surgeons is board-certified and fellowship-trained, meaning they have undergone advanced training in their specialty area and proven their expertise. We are committed to providing patients with a high standard of care, and it shows.
We understand that many patients are hesitant to undergo surgery to correct conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, so we offer a variety of conservative treatment options. Our specialists will only recommend an invasive solution when it is the very best solution.
Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin uses the latest technology to diagnose conditions and perform surgery. This technology gives our doctors the power to perform minimally invasive treatment that's precise, effective, and allows for the fastest recovery possible.
Treating Your Carpal Tunnel
Mild-to-moderate carpal tunnel syndrome may be reversed with nonsurgical methods like lifestyle changes and wearing a splint. For more severe forms of the condition, we may recommend surgery. Treatment options our surgeons will explore with you include:
For milder cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, we typically recommend icing your wrist and taking anti-inflammatory medication to improve symptoms. We may also recommend wearing a splint to help alleviate pressure in the carpal tunnel.
Reducing your force, relaxing your grip, and losing weight may help alleviate the pressure on your median nerve. We recommend being mindful of your form and posture and taking frequent breaks to rest your hands and fingers.
If at-home treatment and lifestyle changes aren't enough to minimize your symptoms, corticosteroid injections can be administered in the carpal tunnel to alleviate the pressure on the median nerve. These injections can reduce the inflammation that's causing the tendons to swell and pinch the nerve. This treatment is temporary and may have to be repeated every few months.
While we can treat most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome through conservative treatments, we may recommend surgery for severe symptoms that interfere with your everyday life. Our specialists can perform surgery to sever the ligament that's putting pressure on the median nerve.
What Happens During Carpal Tunnel Surgery
You will be sedated to keep you comfortable throughout your procedure.
One of our doctors will create a small incision in your wrist. if necessary, they may also create an incision in your palm. The carpal tunnel surgical procedure is performed endoscopically when possible, which results in a much smaller incision and less scarring.
Your doctor will insert a flexible tube with an attached camera and light, also known as an endoscope, and use specialized surgical instruments to cut the transverse carpal ligament. Doing so can relive the pressure on the median nerve and alleviate your symptoms.
Your doctor will remove the instruments and suture your incisions close.d Your hand will be bandaged.
You can return home soon after your procedure is complete While most patients notice immediate relief in some or all their symptoms, it may take several weeks or more to experience full relief.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery Recovery
Your recovery may take several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your condition. During this time, our doctors recommend you:
Take Time Off from Work
Your time off from work will depend on which hand underwent surgery and the activities your job requires. If you had surgery on your non-dominant hand and have a job that does not require repetitive motion, you can likely return to work within a few days. Surgery on your dominant hand and a job that requires repetitive movements may require a couple of weeks or more for recovery.
Wear a Splint or Bandage
After your surgery, you're encouraged to wear a bandage or splint for 1-2 weeks. Your doctor will let you know when you can remove your splint and start a physical therapy regimen.
Perform Physical Therapy Exercises
While you are encouraged to rest for a few days to a few weeks after your surgery, our doctors may recommend physical therapy exercises to speed up the healing process and allow for the healthy recovery of your muscles and nerves.