When pressure is placed on the median nerve that leads to your hands and fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome can be the result. The narrow passageway on the underside of your forearm that protects this median nerve is called the carpal tunnel. When pressure is placed on the median nerve, a dull to severe pain main be caused in the wrist and forearm region. Symptoms can also include Tingling in the fingers, a weakness of the hand and numbness.
How To Diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Dr. Tahernia will first begin the appointment with a thorough physical examination and review the symptoms that you are showing. He will perform tests to check the feeling in your fingers as well as the strength that your hand has. To check the severity of the pain, Dr. Tahernia may apply pressure to the median nerve by bending the wrist or directly pressing on the nerve. This can cause one or more of your fingers to begin to tingle.
Dr. Tahernia may need to order specific tests such as a nerve conduction study or a electromyogram to help further in his diagnosis of carpal tunnel. This will help him to find what the severity of the problem is and if carpal tunnel syndrome is indeed the root of the pain. A nerve conduction study helps to measure the strength of the contractions in the muscles. This is done by sending a small electrical impulse to stimulate nerves. Dr. Tahernia can then see if the impulses are slowed by the carpal tunnel. The other test that may be used is called electromyogram which measures the electrical activity in muscles. This test will show if there is any in depth muscle damage.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments:
The best treatment for carpal tunnel can vary from person to person depending on the severity of the condition, previous treatments that may have been used, the overall health of the patient and the preference the patient has. Potential treatments may include:
Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Medications such as aspirin may be able to be used to alleviate pain and act as a viable temporary solution.
Brace or Splint – If the severity of your carpel tunnel syndrome is moderate, a brace or splint may be able to give you enough support to minimize the pressure that is being placed on the median nerve. Some patients have had symptoms disappear with the use of a splint alone.
Corticosteroid Injections – To relieve pain symptoms a corticosteroid such as cortisone may be injected to the affected area.
Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery – When all other treatment options have not sufficed in treating the pain, surgery may be the next best option. Dr. Tahernia will discuss the different surgical options that you have for carpal tunnel release surgery. During carpal tunnel release surgery, Dr. Tahernia will make cuts at the tissue that holds the joints together to help in relieving the pressure on the median nerve.
The surgery can be performed either endoscopically or open. During an endoscopic surgery, only one or two incisions are needed in the hand or wrist. ZA camera is then used to navigate around the carpel tunnel. With open surgery, an incision is made in the palm over the carpel tunnel and a cut is made to the carpel tunnel ligament.