Your Carpal Tunnel Resource in Mesa
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a term for a collection of wrist and hand symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling, swelling, and grip-loss. This syndrome, which affects approximately 3.7 percent of adults in the U.S., is three times more common in women than in men.
At Four Peaks Plastic Surgery, Dr. Burt Faibisoff – board-certified plastic surgeon and hand surgeon – performs carpal tunnel release surgery, providing hope for patients diagnosed with carpal tunnel in Mesa, AZ. Learn more about the procedure.
What is the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome?
The basic underlying cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is median nerve entrapment (compression). The median nerve is responsible for sensation (and some muscle control) in the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and ring finger.
The underlying cause of median nerve compression is not well understood. Most people are under the impression that years of computer keyboard usage causes carpal tunnel. While any kind of repetitive hand or wrist task could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, poor office ergonomics have not been proven to be leading causes. Potential causes of CTS may include:
- Repetitive hand motions in hobbies or work – especially assembly line work or frequent use of a vibrating tool, such as a jackhammer.
- Pregnancy can cause temporary CTS. This may be due to hormonal changes and fluid retention.
- Menopause may also cause hormonal changes that lead to CTS.
- Injury/trauma to the wrist could lead to pressure on the median nerve and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Mastectomy. Following this surgical procedure, some women’s lymphatic systems struggle to get rid of excess fluids; these fluids may cause arm swelling and median nerve entrapment.
- Other medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and underactive thyroid, may increase risk for CTS.
Though researchers and physicians have keyed in on some possible risk factors and causes, the majority of carpal tunnel syndrome cases are idiopathic.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Common CTS symptoms include the following:
- Numbness and/or tingling of the thumb, index, middle, or ring fingers (but not the pinky finger).
- Numbness or tingling that wakes you up at night.
- As CTS progresses, these symptoms may appear during the day.
- Feeling the need to shake out your hand.
- Grip weakness, which may cause you to drop objects.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let your physician know. Do you live in Mesa and struggle with symptoms that could be caused by carpal tunnel syndrome? Take our free online risk assessment to have a health care professional at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery contact you with more information. Or, schedule your appointment by calling 480-257-2670.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
If you are experiencing symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, your physician may begin the evaluation and diagnosis process by reviewing your medical history and asking you about your symptoms. Next, a physical examination may be performed. There are two tests commonly performed during this part of the exam:
- Tinel’s Sign: the physician taps the wrist, just over the median nerve. If the tapping produces a tingling sensation in the fingers, it is possible that the median nerve is compressed and CTS is present.
- Phalen’s Maneuver: In this test, your physician will ask you to place your hands at the end of a table and let them hang limply. If the position of relaxed wrist flexion produces numbness or tingling within 60 seconds, you may have CTS. There are several variations of this test.
Beyond these physical exams, your doctor may have you undergo an X-ray (to rule out other conditions, such as arthritis) or electrical studies, which test conduction in the median nerve and electrical activity in nearby muscles.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
In some cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may improve without surgery. Your physician may suggest behavior modifications and give you a splint to wear at night. If lifestyle changes and splints are not successful, then surgery may be necessary. Click the link below to learn more about how carpal tunnel syndrome is treated at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery in Mesa, Arizona.
Learn More About Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery In Mesa, AZ
For more information about carpal tunnel release surgery, click here. If you think your symptoms may be related to carpal tunnel syndrome, take our free online assessment, and a health care provider at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery will evaluate your answers and contact you. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 480-257-2670.