Did you know that carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the leading repetitive-stress injuries in the workplace? The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your wrist, which the median nerve runs through. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by repetitive pressure on this median nerve, with frequent hand movements. If left untreated, carpal tunnel can result in weakness and incoordination in your hands and fingers.
These 5 signs can indicate that you might have carpal tunnel:
Pain in both or one of your hands is usually the first indication of carpal tunnel, especially when the pain is concentrated in your thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger. This painful feeling typically worsens at night.
- Numbness and Tingling
Numbness and tingling are common sensations for those experiencing carpal tunnel, as the compressed nerve cannot properly deliver sensation signals. Since the pathway of the median nerves extends to the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger, these are often the areas of numbness.
- Burning Sensation
Many individuals suffering from carpal tunnel have reported feeling a burning sensation in their hand, specifically in the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger.
Due to the compression of the median nerve, carpal tunnel can result in weakness in the muscles of your hand or fingers.
- Tendency to drop things
Your grip on objects becomes noticeably worse when suffering from carpal tunnel. The increased weakness in your hand and fingers causes more frequency in dropping items.
Fortunately, carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated conservatively or with surgery. Endoscopic carpal tunnel release is a procedure that uses an endoscope, or tiny camera, inserted at a small incision at the wrist. During the surgery, the carpal ligament is carefully cut to relieve pressure on the median nerve. This procedure is advantageous due to the small incision at the wrist, quick recovery, low risk of complications, and reduced pain.
If you have noticed any of these signs recently and think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, seek an expert option from an orthopedic surgeon specializing in the hand and wrist. Contact Dr. Shrouder-Henry for a consultation on your treatment options.
AUTHOR: Jason Shrouder-Henry MD, MBA is a Board Certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder throughout Chicagoland and NW Indiana.