Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve, it is the nerve in the wrist that supplies feeling and movement to parts of the hand especially thumb, index , middle and partial ring finger.
It usually characterized by numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage (long term) in the hand and fingers.
1. Associated with repetitive work causing compression on the wrist i.e sewing, assembly line, vibratory tools, certain medical instruments etc.
2. certain metabolic disorders or conditions;
Diabetes, pregnancy, Acromegaly, rheumatoid arthritis, menopause etc.
3. Direct trauma:
fractures of wrist and hand.
Certain manual tests are performed by the doctor/ hand therapist to reproduce the symptoms confirming the diagnosis. EMG could be ordered by the physician in order to confirm the diagnoses and extent of nerve damage.
In early onset cases changing the work environment , using adaptive devices and equipment , use of brace at night to support wrist could help resolve the symptoms.
Medication: Steroid injection, oral steroids, NSAID's to reduce pain and swelling could be tried and helpful in conjunction with hand therapy by a Certified hand therapist, who would perform detailed evaluation of symptoms and design the best treatment plan.
In long term cases, surgery would be the best option and nerve structure starts to change with long term compression and may result in permanent damage.
If left untreated, the nerve can be damaged, causing permanent weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Surgery could be performed by a Plastic surgeon, Hand surgeon, Orthopedic surgeon or Neuro-surgeon.
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