Do you have pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand or arms? You may be one of the millions of Americans who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, a common nerve disorder of the wrist. The earlier you have it diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. So, if you suspect you have carpal tunnel syndrome, call to make an appointment with orthopedic surgeon and hand specialist Mark A. Yaffe, MD, of Barrington Orthopedic Specialists. Offices are conveniently located in Schaumburg, Bartlett, Elk Grove Village, and Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Your median nerve runs through your carpal tunnel, a passageway in your wrist, and all the way up your arm. Carpal tunnel syndrome is when this nerve gets compressed. It causes pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in your hand.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is usually the result of a combination of health and risk factors. Some factors you can control — like the activities you do or your hand and wrist position when you type — and others you can’t, such as age and gender.
Factors that contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Sex — women are more likely to develop it than men
- Aging — it’s more common as you get older
- Pregnancy, because hormone fluctuations can cause swelling
- Repetitive hand and wrist motions
- Health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and obesity
- Anatomy, if your carpal tunnel is narrower than the average person’s
What are the treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome?
At Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, Dr. Yaffe first tries nonsurgical interventions such as:
- A splint or brace
- Physical therapy
- A corticosteroid injection
If those treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, Dr. Yaffe can discuss surgery options with you.
What are my carpal tunnel and nerve surgery options?
Carpal tunnel surgery is called carpal tunnel release surgery. This surgery is performed by either a mini open technique or endoscopically. In both surgeries, Dr. Yaffe cuts through the ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel to make more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through your carpal tunnel.
The difference between the two surgeries is that with the open surgery, a bigger incision is necessary. With the endoscopic surgery, Dr. Yaffe makes small incisions and uses a thin tube, called an endoscope to see inside your carpal tunnel and small instruments to perform the surgery. Dr. Yaffe recommends the best technique for your condition.
What should I expect after carpal tunnel and nerve surgery?
After the surgery, you can go home the same day. Expect to wear a splint or bandage for about a week or two. Dr. Yaffe provides easy-to- follow postsurgical instructions. Full recovery depends on the severity of your symptoms before the surgery and how long you’ve had carpal tunnel syndrome.
To find out more about carpal tunnel and nerve surgery, call Barrington Orthopedic Specialists today.