Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by numbness or pain in the thumb and first two fingers. It is a common problem for people who use their hands for extended periods of time, such as workers in textile manufacturing, upholstering, assembly line, and in clerical keyboard work.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed at the wrist. Repeated bending and extending the wrist may cause a swelling of the flexor tendons and sheaths, which then press on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel.
Numbness may first be felt in the index and second finger or in the thumb and is often noticed at night. The condition can be minimized or prevented by being sure that the wrist and hand are always in a straight line.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be treated through immobilization, medication, therapy, or surgery. Splinting to prevent bending and extending of the wrist for a period of time is often the only treatment required. Injections of anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids are sometimes useful either alone or in combination with other treatment. If surgery is necessary, a simple operation to loosen the transverse carpal ligament and open up the carpal tunnel often succeeds in relieving the pressure on the median nerve.
For more information about carpal tunnel sydrome of the hand and wrist, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).