Carpal Tunnel

misc image

Carpal Tunnel services offered in Live Oak, San Antonio and Schertz, TX

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that won't get better without taking the pressure off the pinched nerve. The board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Northeast Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine determine the cause of the problem and create a customized treatment plan that promotes nerve healing and eases your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call one of their offices in Shertz, Live Oak or San Antonio, Texas.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow opening in your wrist. The tunnel allows several tendons and a major nerve, the median nerve, to travel through your wrist and into your hand.

If the tendons become inflamed or the bones and ligaments in your wrist suffer an injury, the nerve gets pinched inside the tunnel. That's when you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Am I at risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome?

Some people have a higher risk because their carpal tunnel is naturally small. Your risk also increases if you:

Perform repetitive movements

The tendons inside the tunnel become inflamed if you frequently perform the same finger and hand movements.

Bend your wrist while using your hand

Performing manual activities (like using a keyboard) with your wrist bent up or down places excessive stress on the nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel. 

Sustain an injury

Though not the most common cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, any injury that damages the structures in your wrist can narrow the tunnel and pinch the nerve.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel symptoms usually develop slowly, so you may not notice them at first. As your symptoms get more severe, you experience:

  • Pain in your hand and wrist
  • Tingling or numbness in your fingers
  • Feeling that you have swollen fingers (when you don't)
  • Limited finger movement
  • Hand weakness
  • Dropping objects
  • Difficulty grasping small objects

In advanced carpal tunnel syndrome, the muscles at the base of your thumb may get smaller.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Northeast Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine begins your treatment with nonsurgical therapies. Their goal is to help the tissue heal and restore normal nerve function.

Nonsurgical treatment

Your symptoms may improve by simply wearing a brace at night. You may also need to do exercises during the day that stretch the tissues in the carpal tunnel and prevent cramping. 

If your job or hobbies involve repetitive activities that affect the tissues in the carpal tunnel, your provider gives you ergonomic tips that reduce the pressure on the nerve.

Surgical intervention

You may need surgery to decompress the nerve when you have:

  • Advanced nerve damage
  • Severe symptoms
  • Symptoms that don't improve with treatment
  • Symptoms that last six months or longer
  • Muscle loss

If you have any of those problems, your provider may recommend carpal tunnel release. This procedure removes the pressure on the nerve by cutting the ligament that forms the top of the tunnel.

If you have signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, call Northeast Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today.