Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics
Orthopedics & Sports Medicine located in Nashville, TN & Franklin, TN
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of wrist and hand pain and can worsen if left untreated. With four locations in Nashville and one in Franklin, Tennessee, the hand doctors at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics offer outstanding carpal tunnel syndrome treatment. Find your carpal tunnel relief today.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Doctors in Nashville, Tennessee
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Your carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway that runs through your wrist. The passageway is held open by small bones, and the roof of the tunnel is made of a band of connective tissue.
This entire structure serves to protect the median nerve that runs from your forearm into your hand. This nerve controls the muscles at the base of your thumb and enables sensation in your index, middle, and ring fingers and thumb.
Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when this passageway becomes narrowed, adding pressure to the median nerve. That can happen in several ways.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Some people have less room in their carpal tunnel than others and are at an elevated risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain health conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis can also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
One of the most thought-of causes is repetitive hand and wrist movements. People who work with computers often develop carpal tunnel syndrome, as do those who work on assembly lines, though there is debate over whether repeated movements cause the syndrome. Dislocations of the joint and fractures can also cause narrowing of the carpal tunnel.
Other bodily influences can cause carpal tunnel syndrome as well. Pregnancy can be a leading factor because the hormones produced can cause swelling in various areas of the body, including the wrist. Other hormonal changes, like those in premenstrual syndrome and menopause, may also play a role in the development of the syndrome.
What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel symptoms can come on suddenly or develop slowly over time. Some signs that you might have the condition include:
- Pain, tingling, burning, or numbness in your thumb, middle, ring, and index fingers.
- Weakness in one or both hands.
- Increased clumsiness, including dropping or fumbling things.
- Shock-like sensations that begin in the wrist and radiate into the thumb, ring, middle, and index fingers.
If you notice these changes in one or both hands, come in for a thorough diagnostic exam.
How Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
If you've noticed the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you might choose to go to a hand specialist for a diagnosis. After listening to your symptoms, a doctor can perform or order numerous tests to confirm carpal tunnel syndrome.
First, your doctor will conduct a physical exam on your hands and wrists. The specialist may have you flex your wrist for about a minute to see if you experience numbness or tingling. The doctor will also tap your median nerve to check for the same symptoms.
Your specialist may order X-rays or lab tests to confirm your symptoms stem from carpal tunnel syndrome and not another condition. If your doctor believes you have the syndrome, they may order a nerve conduction study or electromyography (EMG) test.
Who is at Risk of Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Anyone can develop carpal tunnel syndrome; however, certain people may be at higher risk. If any of the following apply to you, you may be at an increased risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome:
- You are a woman
- You have diabetes
- You work a job that involves repetitive finger use
- You are pregnant
- You have arthritis
- You have suffered previous injury to the hand or wrist
How Do Doctors Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel treatment varies from person to person. Some people respond well to a period of bracing or splinting. Over-the-counter pain medications can lessen discomfort and relieve swelling.
Steroid injections can also help by reducing inflammation. This is a great way to ease the pain while you complete a course of physical therapy. Working with a skilled physical therapist can help you learn exercises to help your median nerve move easier in your carpal tunnel.
In severe cases, your provider may recommend surgery. There is an open carpal tunnel release, though this surgery is more invasive due to the required larger incisions.
In endoscopic carpal tunnel release, your doctor cuts the carpal ligament to reduce pressure on the median nerve. They insert a small tube with a light and camera into a tiny incision on your wrist to view your carpal tunnel. Your surgeon may choose to make a second incision on your palm.
The surgeons use specialized tools to cut the ligament in your carpal tunnel, releasing pressure from the median nerve. The benefit of endoscopic surgery is that you may heal faster because it is less invasive and saves more tissue.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Nashville, Tennessee
Our wrists and hands are crucial for daily activities ranging from how we work to using our phones. Pain, numbness, or tingling from carpal tunnel syndrome can make these tasks difficult. It can also affect your sleep patterns if the pain wakes you at night. A carpal tunnel specialist at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics can help you recover from the syndrome.
Our team will perform diagnostic testing and a physical exam to understand the source of your numbness or pain. We'll recommend the best course of action, which may involve braces, splints, physical therapy, or medication. Our specialized surgeons can perform carpal tunnel release for severe cases or those that don't respond to treatment.
Don’t live with the pain and limitations of carpal tunnel syndrome when safe and effective treatments can help. Schedule a consultation today to be evaluated for carpal tunnel relief in Nashville or Franklin, Tennessee.
Our Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Specialists
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