Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
with Dr. Watson
Welcome to a Medical Minute segment with Dr. Jeffry Watson, Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group as he discusses Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and the treatment options available.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve is compressed and is one of the most common injuries the hand physicians at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group see. The median nerve goes through a passage in your wrist called the ‘Carpal Tunnel’ to give the medial half of your ring finger, your thumb, index and middle fingers the ability to move. The carpal tunnel also controls most of your thumb muscles.
Often there is not a specific cause of carpal tunnel syndrome and many patients will develop it naturally, however in some instances it may be the result of a traumatic injury. When swelling occurs on the median nerve, it results in less blood flow to that area. The oxygen deprivation causes symptoms such as numbness or painful tingling primarily in those three aforementioned fingers. The symptoms can worsen at night when most people sleep with their wrist in a flexed position, which puts pressure on the median nerve.
Initial conservative at-home treatment options include wearing a carpal tunnel splint at night, making sure that it is worn tight enough that your wrist doesn’t flex as you sleep but still allows for proper blood flow to the wrist and hand structures. If after diligent compliance with conservative treatment options, you still notice symptoms, we recommend seeing one of our Fellowship-trained Orthopaedic Hand Physicians at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group to discuss additional conservative and operative treatment options.