If you have numbness or weakness in your wrist, hand, thumb, and first three fingers, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome. At NASA Bone & Joint Specialists in Houston, Texas, Daniel O’Neill, MD, and Cristin Mathew, DO, diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome and offer customized treatments to reduce inflammation in your wrists. Call NASA Bone & Joint Specialists or schedule a consultation online today to find out what’s causing your wrist pain and get the treatment you need.
You have a small opening in the bones of your wrist called the carpal tunnel. Three sides are bone, and its roof is a ligament. It surrounds the median nerve as it travels from your arm into your hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when inflammation in your wrist reduces the space in your carpal tunnel and compresses your median nerve.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including:
You might also start to drop things or lose awareness of where your hand is (proprioception). When left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse. Your symptoms might also be worse at night, especially if you sleep with your hands and wrists curled.
Repetitive strain and wrist position are two of the most common causes of carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, if you spend most of your day working at a computer and hold your wrists in a slightly bent position to type, you have an increased risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Other factors that contribute to your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
You might also develop carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy as the hormonal changes can trigger swelling.
The team at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists begins treatment with a thorough exam to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. They tap on your median nerve and test the sensitivity in your fingertips. They check for muscle atrophy and test your grip. Your doctor might also recommend nerve conduction studies or an electromyogram to check for nerve damage.
Then depending on the severity of your symptoms and the inflammation in your joint, your doctor creates a personalized treatment plan to address your needs. They might recommend a combination of anti-inflammatory medication or corticosteroid injections with physical therapy. You might also benefit from wearing a brace or splint to keep your wrist in the correct position and reduce inflammation.
In severe cases, when noninvasive treatments haven’t been effective, the team at NASA Bone & Joint Specialists perform specialized wrist surgery to reduce pressure on your median nerve.
If you’re concerned about carpal tunnel syndrome, call NASA Bone & Joint or make an appointment online today for customized treatments.