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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common peripheral nerve entrapment disease. The disease involves compression of the median nerve as it crosses the wrist. It commonly affects individuals in their fifties and seventies, but can occur at any age. CTS typically manifests as a combination of pain, loss of sensation, or motor weakness in the hand or forearm. Common complaints include night pain, tingling, dropping things, and burning sensation. The presentation can be variable. While the exact cause is multi-factorial, some evidence suggests genetics may play a role. A health care provider will commonly diagnose carpal tunnel with a history, physical exam, x-rays, and a possible nerve conduction test. The treatment options for carpal tunnel can vary depending on the severity. Conservative treatment can include splinting, physical therapy, activity modification, and stretching. Cortisone injections into the carpal tunnel can provide temporary or permanent relief.

When conservative treatment fails, surgery is an option for carpal tunnel syndrome. The surgery involves dividing the transverse carpal ligament which relieves the pressure on the median nerve. This can be done with a local anesthetic or general anesthesia depending on the needs of the patient. Orthopedic Associates of Northern California is here to happily help with all of your orthopedic needs and provides expert care for carpal tunnel syndrome and other orthopedic conditions.

Dr. Taylor Konkin MD