Here at LMcG Orthopaedics in Geraldton, we often get asked about carpal tunnel syndrome—what it is and why it happens? To help you develop a better understanding of carpal tunnel syndrome, we’ve put together a helpful summary below.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve (a large nerve that supplies the hand) becomes compressed at the wrist. This can be felt as a tingling or numbness in the hand. Usually the thumb, index, middle and half of the ring finger are affected. It is one of the most common conditions seen in clinic.
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes
There are many factors that can contribute to your likeliness of carpal tunnel developing. Essentially, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure being placed on the median nerve. Therefore, anything that compress the nerve within the carpal tunnel can contribute factor to carpal tunnel syndrome developing.
There are also various risk factors connected to carpal tunnel, some of these include:
⦁ Anatomic factors such as a fractured wrist or even arthritis. This is because the space within the carpal tunnel becomes altered which can result in added pressure being placed on the median nerve.
⦁ Carpal tunnel syndrome is often more prevalent within females. This is perhaps due to the carpal tunnel area generally being smaller for women.
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome will usually start out as a numb or tingling feeling in your hand and fingers. These symptoms will often be felt while performing everyday tasks such as holding a steering wheel when driving. You may also start to notice a feeling of weakness in your hand that even causes you to drop objects. It may wake you up from sleep.
Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment
Treatment will be directed to your individual needs. Options include bracing, injection or surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery is performed to relieve pressure by cutting the ligament that presses on the median nerve.
Here at LMcG Orthopaedics, Dr Lorcan McGonagle regularly assists patients who have carpal tunnel syndrome. For further details or to enquire about booking a consultation, get in touch with our team in Geraldton today on 08 9921 4847.