Utah Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Pain & Treatment
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by the compression of the median nerve as it travels through the wrist. Symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand (usually on the palm and palmer side of the first three fingers from the thumb), a weak grip, decreased dexterity, feelings of hand swelling, and atrophy of muscles in the hand. Symptoms tend to be worse at night and can affect anywhere from the hand up to the shoulder. About 15 out of every 100,000 people experience CTS each year. Of these 15, there are about twice as many women as there are men.
Some of the common causes and predisposing factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, repetitive strain of the wrist (from activities such as typing, reading, driving, etc), wrist fracture and associated swelling, pregnancy, oral contraceptive use leading to swelling of the limbs, and underlying nerve dysfunction.
Utah Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
A physician will perform a number of physical maneuvers and nerve conduction studies before diagnosing a patient with CTS. If the doctor does diagnose the patient with CTS, there are a number of treatments to examine before surgery is considered. These include: yoga, deep pulsed ultrasound, glucocorticoid (steroid) medication taken orally or injected, wrist splints, and minimizing contributory factors.
If symptoms continue without improvement for six months while conservative treatments are tried, surgery is usually the next step to helping the patient find relief. The definitive treatment is surgical decompression of the median nerve, which can be done endoscopically or via open incision. With an open incision, the doctor will use local anesthetic to eliminate pain. An open incision gives the physician the best view of the affected area.
An endoscopic release is done with scopes and surgical tools through small incisions on the wrist. This is beneficial because it can result in less scar tissue and less post-operative pain. A minority of patients, mostly those with advanced carpal tunnel syndrome, will not find relief after the surgery. The best CTS treatment is prevention by reducing repetitive movement of the wrist and by keeping it in a neutral position as often as possible.
For more information on how Omega Interventional Pain can help treat your carpal tunnel syndrome pain, please contact us at 801-261-4988.