What to Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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If you’re feeling tingling, burning, itching or numbness in the palm of your hand and fingers, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Carpal tunnel syndrome affects between 3 percent and 6 percent of adults in the United States.* It is most common among adults between the ages of 45 and 64 years old, and happens to be more common in women than in men.

CTS develops when swelling around the nerve or tendons causes increased pressure on the median nerve as it crosses the wrist in the carpal tunnel. The pressure results in decreased blood flow to the median nerve and nerve damage. The initial pressure can come from sports involving strong repetitive hand or wrist motions. It may also be a result from a history of arthritis, obesity, thyroid conditions, or fluid build-up during pregnancy.

In the beginning, symptoms may appear during the night, or first thing in the morning. Symptoms may actually wake you up in the middle of the night. Additionally, you may notice that it is difficult to form a fist or twist a bottle cap. If left untreated it could lead to permanent numbness in the fingers and in the muscles linked to the median nerve.

If symptoms are mild, you may be able to relieve symptoms with corticosteroid injections to reduce the swelling. A cold compress or wearing a wrist splint overnight may help, too. If your symptoms go on for six months, surgery might be necessary. Carpal tunnel release surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. To reduce pressure on the median nerve causing the inflammation, the surgeon will cut the carpal ligament, which is the top of the carpal tunnel. Our expert surgeons will help determine the best course to improve the mechanics in your hand.

If you are considering hand surgery, please call the Surgery Center of Fort Collins for more information. We do perform CTS relief surgery for patients, and it is often more affordable and less stressful to have done at our ambulatory surgery center as opposed to in a hospital setting. Call 970-821-8634 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

*https://www.aafp.org/afp/2011/0415/p952.html



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