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Carpal Tunnel

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy located in Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common pain condition that gets worse over time. When left untreated, the condition may cause permanent nerve damage that affects your ability to use your hand. At Wisconsin River Orthopaedics, the team includes physicians and hand therapists who specialize in treating carpal tunnel. To get help for your carpal tunnel and prevent future problems, call the office in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, or book an appointment online today.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is the carpal tunnel?

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist made up of bones and ligaments. It serves as the passageway for your median nerve, which is one of the main sensory and motor nerves in your hand. 

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a type of neuropathy that develops from compression or pinching of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. 

The compression can develop from inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the carpal tunnel or an injury that changes its normal structure.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms tend to start gradually and worsen over time. Common symptoms include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, middle, or ring finger
  • Pain or tingling that travels up the arm
  • Electric shock-like sensations in the hand or fingers
  • Muscle weakness that affects your grip

Getting an early diagnosis and treatment plan in place for your carpal tunnel syndrome may prevent permanent nerve damage. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, the team at Wisconsin River Orthopaedics can help.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics performs a thorough examination to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. They review your symptoms, usual activities, and medical history.

Your provider examines your hand and wrist. Then, they perform various tests to assess function to determine if carpal tunnel syndrome is responsible for your symptoms.

To confirm a diagnosis and determine the extent of your nerve damage, your provider requests nerve conduction studies, X-rays, and an MRI. Wisconsin River Orthopaedics has an open MRI machine on site. 

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

Wisconsin River Orthopaedics takes a conservative approach to care. Initially, the team recommends non-surgical treatments to alleviate symptoms and stop or slow down the progression of the nerve damage.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Activity modification
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • On-site hand therapy
  • Bracing or splinting
  • Steroid injections

If non-surgical interventions fail to improve your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, the orthopaedic surgeons may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery. 

During the procedure, your surgeon will release the ligament that forms the roof of your carpal tunnel to create more room for the nerve and therefore take pressure off of the nerve. 

Call Wisconsin River Orthopaedics or request an appointment through the online scheduling tool to book your carpal tunnel consultation today.