Carpal Tunnel

Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

Orthopedic Surgeons & Hand and Upper Extremity located in Fredericksburg, TX & Boerne, TX

As many as 10 million Americans have carpal tunnel syndrome today. If you have wrist pain, hand numbness, and a decrease in hand function because of carpal tunnel syndrome, the team at Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can help. The practice offers a variety of solutions, including minimally invasive surgery that gets you back to normal much faster than traditional surgical techniques. There are two offices in Fredericksburg and Boerne, Texas, so call the one nearest you or book an appointment online.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of nerve entrapment in the wrist area. Pressure on your main arm nerve — the median nerve — leads to a number of wrist and hand area problems, including:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Hand weakness

 

In some cases, you may have thumb arthritis along with your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms. These symptoms can cause issues with writing, typing, holding a brush, buttoning your shirt, and other ordinary tasks. 

Between the very uncomfortable symptoms and the decreased hand function, carpal tunnel syndrome can become debilitating.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when tissues within the carpal tunnel — the narrow passageway in your wrist — swell to put pressure on the median nerve. This disrupts nerve signaling to your hand, which explains the symptoms like numbness, tingling, and weakness. 

The cause of this swelling isn't always clear, but some common factors in carpal tunnel syndrome development include:

  • Female sex
  • Being overweight, obese, or pregnant
  • Having arthritis, such as thumb arthritis
  • Doing repetitive activities with your hands
  • Sharply flexing your hands and wrists for long periods

In the majority of cases, several factors contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Will carpal tunnel syndrome go away on its own?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually happen sporadically, which makes many people wonder whether the condition will eventually go away on its own. Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case. Most people get worse as time passes if untreated. 

Untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome could eventually cause permanent muscle and nerve damage, leaving you with severely impaired hand function. 

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Carpal tunnel syndrome treatment focuses on reducing the pressure on your median nerve. In some cases, you can accomplish this with bracing, anti-inflammatory medication, and special hand exercises.

The doctor performs a minimally invasive procedure called carpal tunnel release. During this surgery, he uses just one incision to access and divide the transverse carpal ligament within the carpal tunnel. This makes extra room for your median nerve and relieves the pressure.

With this minimally invasive technique, you have a much faster return to normal activity than you would with older approaches. 

If you’re suffering from carpal tunnel symptoms like pain and numbness, reach out to Texas Hill Country Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine by phone or through the online booking tool.