Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There is a collection of factors that can increase the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS): age, hormones, family medical history, and wrist use. Depending on the severity of each patient’s symptoms, however, there is also a collection of treatment options to alleviate the numbness, tingling, and pain that accompanies it.
Hand and wrist specialists may perform one or a series of tests to either rule out, diagnose, or better understand the severity of CTS, including:
- Physical examination – Checking for muscle weakness, a hand and wrist specialist will often check the active and passive range of motion.
- Electrodiagnostic testing – Using nerve conduction tests (NCTs), specialists can evaluate a patient’s nerve function.
- X-rays – To rule out other causes of numbness, tingling, or pain, specialists will check for fractures and signs of arthritis via X-rays.
- MRI – So they may best understand if and why a patient is experiencing abnormal nerve functions, specialists may order and MRI or ultrasound.
For patients with mild symptoms and an early diagnosis, specialists first recommend conservative treatment options including anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, or a series of nerve gliding activities to release tension. Specialists may also recommend that patients frequently exposed to CTS-aggravating activities, such as excessive typing, wear a tension-releasing brace to straighten the wrist.
If CTS symptoms persist or worsen, specialists may recommend surgical intervention to relieve nerve pressure. The need for surgery is most prevalent in patients with advanced stages of CTS or patients whose CTS did not respond to conservative treatments. The primary operative alternatives for CTS include:
- Open carpal tunnel release – Creating a small incision, a hand and wrist specialist will use an incision to open a patient’s hand for clear view of both the hand and wrist.
- Wrist arthroscopy – Inserting a small fiber optic instrument through few minor incisions, a hand and wrist surgeon uses a camera attachment to arthroscopically travel through the hand and wrist.
During either procedure, specialists will widen the wrist’s carpal tunnel, which hosts the nerves and tendons responsible for hand movement. This is done by splitting the roof of the carpal tunnel to alleviate tension placed on the median nerve that runs through the neck, arm, wrist, and hand.
Hand and Wrist Specialist in St. Augustine
Whether CTS affects the time you put into your favorite sport or lifelong passion project, you can turn to the Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine for specialized CTS care. Our resident hand and wrist specialist, Dr. Alexander Lampley, will thoroughly examine your symptoms, muscle strength, and nerve tension to recommend the most effective treatment plan. Schedule your appointment today by filling out our online request form or calling 904-825-0540.
Alexander Lampley, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.