The medical term for numbness, tingling, and pain in the hand and arm is known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition happens when the median nerve is compressed as it travels through the wrist. In most cases, carpal tunnel syndrome gets worse with time and does not heal itself. Therefore an early diagnosis is crucial. In the beginning, symptoms can often be relieved by following simple measures, like wearing a splint or avoiding excessive mobility of the hand.
If pressure on the median nerve sustains for a long time, it can lead to permanent nerve damage which is irreparable in nature and the symptoms become worse as well. To avoid permanent damage, surgery can be considered which takes the pressure off the median nerve.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
The pain experienced in carpal tunnel syndrome happens when there is excessive pressure on your wrist and the median nerve gets suppressed. It can lead to inflammation and swelling. The inflammation is an underlying medical condition that is sometimes accompanied by obstructed blood flow. Some of the most commonly seen conditions which are related to carpal tunnel syndrome are :
● Thyroid dysfunction
● High blood pressure
● Fluid retention
● Autoimmune disorders like arthritis
● Fractures or traumas to the wrist
Carpal tunnel syndrome becomes worse with time if the wrist is overexerted and overworked. The repeated continuous motion of the risk contributes to the compression and swelling of the median nerve. This can be the result of positioning your wrist while using a mouse or keyboard and prolong vibrating pressure from using power or hand tools. Repeated movements that exert the wrist such as playing piano, typing, or playing any musical instruments can also be responsible.
Who is at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome?
People with jobs that involve repetitive use of fingers and movements of the wrist can be at risk of carpal tunnel syndrome. Motions that can put people at the risk of having carpal tunnel syndrome may include:
● Long-term use of fingers
● Extreme wrist motions
● High Force, like one involved in hammering
There are some other factors as well which can contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. These may include pregnancy, hemodialysis, hereditary reasons, diabetes, alcoholism, a tumor in the carpal tunnel, older age, fractures, or trauma in the wrist, or arthritis. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also seen to be more common in women than in men.
Does carpal tunnel syndrome affect just office workers?
It is a misconception that people who work in office jobs and factory jobs are more affected by carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome can affect people who use their wrist and fingers repeatedly at work. Anyone can get carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, it is unusual to get this problem before the age of 20. It should be noted here that the chances of getting carpal tunnel syndrome increase with age and the increased activity of the wrist.
When should one see a doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome?
If you experience symptoms like pain, discomfort, or tingling sensations in your hands, wrists, or fingertips, you should see an orthopedic surgeon and discuss the symptoms and signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem should not be ignored because untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent muscle and nerve damage which cannot be cured with any sort of treatment.
When is surgery suggested for carpal tunnel syndrome?
If the problem is diagnosed in its early stages, some simple measures can be taken to treat the symptoms and release the pressure on the nerve. However, in cases of severe nature where treatment methods have not proven to be effective, surgery is considered.
Carpal tunnel release surgery or carpal tunnel decompression is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require an overnight stay in the hospital or a long recovery period. The surgery involves the cutting of the carpal ligament. It is the roof of the carpal tunnel and its cutting helps in reducing the pressure on the median nerve, hence, curing the problem.
Most advanced treatment- Carpal tunnel release surgery
In a lot of cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome affect the daily life of people. In situations like these, carpal tunnel release surgery or carpal tunnel decompression is suggested by the doctors. The surgery is minimally invasive in nature and offers promising results. You should consult the best surgeons who specialize in orthopedics and carpal tunnel surgeries if you wish to undergo the procedure.
Carpal tunnel surgery involves the cutting up of the carpal ligament, which is the roof of the carpal tunnel. Several tendons and median nerves run through this tunnel towards the fingers and if pressure builds up in the carpal tunnel, the median nerve does not function properly, which can lead to numbness, tingling, or pain in the hand. This makes it highly important for a person to address the problem at the earliest so that it does not develop into a serious condition.
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