Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Surgical Associates of Cleveland

Of the many procedures performed at Surgical Associates of Cleveland, surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is common. Patients with CTS experience numbness, tingling, weakness, and other frustrating problems with their hand due to pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. According to the National Institutes of Health, women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure from swelling on the median nerve. There are a variety of things that can cause such swelling, like:

  • Illness including hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes
  • Repetitive hand and/or wrist movements–particularly when the wrist is pointed down
  • A family history–CTS can be hereditary
  • Pregnancy–women may find themselves diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome during or shortly after pregnancy

The specific symptoms may vary a bit from person to person, but most people CTS will experience some kind of:

  • Tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in their fingers and/or hand.

  • Some people will feel pain in their arm between their hand and elbow.

  • Symptoms usually occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half their ring finger. If a person has problems with their other fingers except for their pinkie finger, that could suggest carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Often, patients first begin to notice their CTS symptoms at night.

  • Some people might feel relief by shaking their hand.

Treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome will vary according to the severity of symptoms.

For mild symptoms:

  • Cease the activities which cause numbness or pain.
  • Allow your wrist to rest longer between activities.
  • Ice the wrist for 10 to 15 minutes,1 or 2 times an hour.
  • Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Wear a wrist splint every night to help take pressure off the median nerve.
  • Keep in mind that the earlier treatment begins, the better chance there will be of preventing long-term nerve damage.

Surgery is an option that’s totally reserved for severe cases which impair work or daily life even after several weeks to months of other treatment. If you’d like to learn more about surgical treatment, mayo clinic has a video here.. You can also give our office a call at 423-476-5523 or visit our website and we will be happy to answer your questions about CTS treatment and surgery.