The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway of ligament and bones at the base of your hand. It contains nerve and tendons. Sometimes, thickening from irritated tendons or other swelling narrows the tunnel and causes the nerve to be compressed in a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome (or median nerve entrapment).
Symptoms usually start gradually with numbness or tingling resulting in sharper pains in the wrist and hand. As the symptoms worsen, grasping objects can become difficult.
Often, the cause is having a smaller carpal tunnel than other people do. Other causes include performing tasks with repetitive motion (such as typing or assembly line work) wrist injury, or swelling due to certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Women are three times more likely to have carpal tunnel syndrome than men.
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent permanent nerve damage. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be determined with a physical exam and special nerve tests. Treatment options may include rest, splints, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines and surgery.
Enam Haque, MD, FACS, of Queen City Plastic Surgery is a fellowship trained hand surgeon experienced in the diagnosis and minimally invasive surgical options for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Queen City Plastic Surgery
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke