What is Carpal Tunnel?
Carpal tunnel is a wrist condition. Carpal tunnel occurs when the transverse carpal ligament compresses the median nerve. The median nerve is important because its innervate muscles in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. People who work with their hands (i.e. typing, counting money) are most at risk.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel are tingling, numbness and weakness in the thumb and/or fingers. Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OICJ) hand specialists obtain a medical review, examine the hand, and order and analyze a nerve conduction study to diagnose carpal tunnel. A customized treatment plan is created. Symptoms quickly improve. Patients no longer need to worry about carpal tunnel affecting their day-to-day lives.
How is Carpal Tunnel Treated?
The goal of treatment is to take pressure off the nerve and calm inflammation. Several nonsurgical treatment options may be used to accomplish this goal. They include:
- Immobilization. A removable wrist brace is worn during the day while using the wrist and hand and at night while sleeping.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Oral medications decrease nerve inflammation and pain.
- Injections. An injection of steroid and numbing medications quickly decreases inflammation and pain. Injections may be given in three-month intervals.
If nonsurgical treatment options do not improve symptoms, an OICJ hand specialist may recommend surgery. A carpal tunnel release is a quick outpatient procedure. The hand specialist carefully cuts the transverse carpal ligament and the nerve is decompressed. Symptom relief is experienced very quickly, sometimes within a few hours. The procedure is performed under local sedation so patients do not need to be put to sleep. To schedule an appointment with a fellowship trained and board-certified OICJ specialist, call 732-201-6990 or visit our contact page.
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