Duc M Nguyen, MD, FACS
Orthopedic Surgeon located in Redwood City, CA
Tingling, weakness, and pain in your hand could be due to carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition in which the median nerve becomes compressed by the carpal tunnel. The pain often first appears at night but progresses until you start to feel it during the day and it seriously interferes with daily function. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be resolved with the expert treatments provided by Dr. Duc Nguyen, an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Redwood City, California. Call his practice or use the online booking tool to see what therapies and treatments are right for your condition.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Q & A
What exactly is carpal tunnel syndrome?
The median nerve, which controls the sensations in your thumb and first three fingers, runs through a narrow passageway of ligament and bones from the forearm into the palm. When this passageway shrinks because of inflammation, thickening, or swelling, the median nerve becomes compressed, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is often considered a repetitive stress injury but can occur due to other reasons. Compression of the median nerve causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
You might experience this pressure because of swelling because of:
- Specific illnesses that increase inflammation, including diabetes, hypothyroidism, and rheumatoid arthritis
- Repetitive hand movements, such as spending lots of time at a computer
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
Women are three times more likely to develop carpal tunnel syndrome as compared to men. This may be because the carpal tunnel is smaller in females.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
You might have carpal tunnel syndrome if you feel tingling and numbness in your fingers, palm, or thumb. Usually, your pinky finger is not affected. You may feel the most pain and weakness in your fingers at night, and you can sometimes find relief by shaking out your hand. Eventually, the pain becomes more constant, so you even notice it during the day. You may lose grip strength in the affected hand.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
When non-invasive measures don’t work to relieve the inflammation causing carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr. Nguyen may suggest carpal tunnel release surgery. This procedure involves making an incision in the wrist and trimming the carpal ligament to make your carpal tunnel larger.
He performs the procedure with local anesthesia on an outpatient basis, so you go home the same day.
What is recovery from carpal tunnel release surgery like?
After surgery, your ligaments grow back together, allowing more space through which the nerve can travel. Expect full recovery to take several months. Dr. Nguyen gives you post-surgical instructions as to how to care for your wrist. He also advises you on how to work with your hands immediately after surgery and even after you recover.