Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Powell Orthopedics

Triple Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon located in Fayetteville and Bentonville, AR

If you have unexplained numbness, pain, or tingling in your wrists or hands, there’s a strong possibility that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome almost always gets worse, never better, which is why intervention is key. At Powell Orthopedics, Dr. Mark W. Powell treats carpal tunnel syndrome in his patients in Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas, both quickly and effectively, allowing them to use their hands freely without discomfort. To join this growing group of satisfied patients, call the office or book an appointment online.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Q & A

What is the carpal tunnel?

The aptly-named carpal tunnel is an actual tunnel made of bones and tendons that travel through the palm-side of your wrist into your hand. And this tunnel is as busy as any city tunnel during rush hour: Your carpal tunnel provides passage of your median nerve and flexor tendons, which allow feeling and movement in your hands.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

If any of the tissue or tendons inside your carpal tunnel begins to swell or become inflamed, it puts pressure on your median nerve, which causes carpal tunnel syndrome. There are a number of reasons why this swelling may occur, including:

  • Age
  • Repetitive use of your hands
  • Heredity
  • Flexion or extension of your hands for prolonged periods
  • Health conditions, such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis

In many cases, carpal tunnel syndrome is the result of a combination of the above.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

The most common symptoms that signal a problem in your carpal tunnel are:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

The pain and tingling can be felt in your fingers, or travel backward up through your arm.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?

To diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr. Powell may order a series of electrophysiological tests that measure your nerve’s signals and the electrical activity in your muscles. These tests provide valuable information on the extent of your nerve impairment. Dr. Powell may also order X-rays, an ultrasound, or an MRI to get a closer look at what’s happening inside.

How is carpal tunnel treated?

Armed with a diagnosis, Dr. Powell reviews your treatment options with you, which may include:

  • Bracing your wrist
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Recommendations for modifications in how you use your hand
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy exercises

If these treatments prove unsuccessful in alleviating your symptoms, Dr. Powell may recommend a surgery called a carpal tunnel release. He typically performs the surgery on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthesia.

Dr. Powell performs an open carpal tunnel release through a small incision in the palm of your hand. This procedure divides the ligaments that make up the roof, creating more room inside thereby releasing the nerve.

To get relief from your carpal tunnel syndrome, call Powell Orthopedics or book an appointment online.