Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Diagnosis & Treatment
Dr. Pamela Mehta, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon, San Jose
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common hand conditions that many will experience in their lifetime. Nerve compression leads to pain and numbness in your hand, and without early medical intervention you may end up requiring carpal tunnel surgery.
The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is pressure on the median nerve as it passes through your wrist joint. At first, you may notice a minor tingling in your fingers, but as time goes on the compression gradually worsens. Classic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Numbness or tingling in your thumb and first two fingers
- Sudden jolts felt in the thumb, index and middle fingers
- Weakness in your hand that might lead to you feeling clumsy and dropping objects
Carpal tunnel syndrome can become debilitating over time as it can restrict you from performing simple tasks like writing, cooking, or typing due to pain and/or weakness. Sometimes you will require surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tests
The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome requires expert evaluation by a specialist. There are several other conditions which mimic carpal tunnel syndrome and it’s important that you get the correct diagnostic tests. Appropriate tests can include:
- A thorough physical exam to test the nerves in the hand and the motion at the wrist
- An X-ray to help rule out other conditions
- Electrophysiological tests including nerve conduction studies and electromyogram
Two conditions which have similar symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis (arthritis caused by your immune system) and cervical radiculopathy (nerve compression arising from your neck). Dr. Pamela Mehta will help you to determine the correct diagnosis.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
After getting a diagnosis from a specialist, there are several ways you can improve your symptoms. At Resilience Orthopedics we will help you explore all your non-surgical options. These can include:
- Carpal tunnel exercises, under supervision of an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist
- Carpal tunnel brace or splint, to help reduce the pressure on your median nerve
- Cortisone injections to reduce inflammation
If your symptoms are severe or not improving, you may require surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome. This is called carpal tunnel release and reduces the pressure on your median nerve at the wrist.
What Hand & Wrist Services Do We Offer?
Treatment of Hand & Wrist Conditions
And Many More!
Dr. Mehta offers diagnosis and treatment of all hand & wrist conditions and can offer her specialist opinion as an expert hand doctor.