Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Greensboro, NC
Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center, P.A. offers treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) to the residents of Greensboro, Burlington, and surrounding North Carolina communities.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition brought on by increased pressure on the median nerve at the wrist. In effect, it is a pinched nerve at the wrist. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, and pain in the arm, hand, and fingers. There is a space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel where the median nerve and nine tendons pass from the forearm into the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when pressure builds up from swelling in this tunnel and puts pressure on the nerve. When the pressure from the swelling becomes great enough to disturb the way the nerve works, numbness, tingling, and pain may be felt in the hand and fingers.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Usually the cause is unknown. Pressure on the nerve can happen several ways: swelling of the lining of the flexor tendons, called tenosynovitis; narrowing the tunnel through joint dislocations, fractures, and arthritis; and keeping the wrist bent for long periods of time. Fluid retention during pregnancy can cause swelling in the tunnel and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, which often go away after delivery. Thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes also can be associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. There may be a combination of causes.
Signs and Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually include pain, numbness, tingling, or a combination of the three. The numbness or tingling most often takes place in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. The symptoms usually are felt during the night but also may be noticed during daily activities such as driving or reading a newspaper. Patients may sometimes notice a weaker grip, occasional clumsiness, and a tendency to drop things. In severe cases, sensation may be permanently lost and the muscles at the base of the thumb slowly shrink (thenaratrophy), causing difficulty with pinch.
Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A detailed history including medical conditions, how the hands have been used, and whether there were any prior injuries is important. An x-ray may be taken to check for the other causes of the complaints such as arthritis or a fracture. In some cases, laboratory tests may be done if there is a suspected medical condition that is associated with CTS. A nerve conduction study (NCV) and/or electromyogram (EMG) may be done to confirm the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome as well as to check for other possible nerve problems.
Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Symptoms may often be relieved without surgery. Identifying and treating medical conditions, changing the patterns of hand use, or keeping the wrist splinted in a straight position may help reduce pressure on the nerve. Wearing wrist splints at night may relieve the symptoms that interfere with sleep. A steroid injection into the carpal tunnel may help relieve the symptoms by reducing swelling around the nerve.
When symptoms are severe or do not improve, surgery may be needed to make more room for the nerve. Pressure on the nerve is decreased by cutting the ligament that forms the roof (top) of the tunnel on the palm side of the hand. Incisions for this surgery may vary, but the goal is the same: to enlarge the tunnel and decrease pressure on the nerve. Following surgery, soreness around the incision may last for several weeks or months. The numbness and tingling may disappear quickly or slowly. It may take several months for strength in the hand and wrist to return to normal. Carpal tunnel symptoms may not completely go away after surgery, especially in severe cases.
How Much Does Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) Cost in Greensboro, NC?
Due to the variety of options available, we recommend discussing carpal tunnel syndrome treatment costs with your doctor. Since it is an extremely individual treatment, you’ll want to set up a personal consultation to ensure all of your questions and concerns are answered.
At Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is on hand to provide you with any and all information you need to move forward with your goals and achieve the best carpal tunnel syndrome treatment results.
Additional Hand Surgery Topics
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- de Quervain’s Tendonitis
- Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Ganglion Cyst
- Hand Injuries
- Trigger Finger
At The Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center, board certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. H. Christopher Coley offers his aesthetic expertise to patients across North Carolina including Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Burlington, Durham, Chapel Hill, Kernersville, and Thomasville, North Carolina. Contact The Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center office today at 336-790-5254 to schedule your consultation!