Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve, which allows sensation and movement to parts of the hand. This condition can cause numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
Specifically, the carpal tunnel is located in the wrist area where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel and any inflammation of the area can pinch the nerve and cause pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some people with this problem were born with a small carpal tunnel, but in most cases this condition can be caused by repetitive motions of the hand and wrist over and over again. The use of vibrating hand tools can also lead to this syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome usually develops in people 30 to 60 years of age and is more common in women than in men.
Other factors that can lead to tunnel syndrome include:
- Bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist.
- Cyst or tumor growing on the wrist.
- extra fluids that accumulate in the body during pregnancy or menopause.
- rheumatoid arthritis
As for symptoms, they may include any of the following:
- Weakness and clumsiness of the hand when grasping objects.
- Numbness or tingling in the thumb and the next two or three fingers of one or both hands.
- Numbness or tingling in the palm of the hand.
- Pain extending to the elbow.
- Pain in the hand or wrist in one or both hands.
- Problems with fine finger movements (coordination) in one or both hands.
- Atrophy of the muscle below the thumb (in advanced or prolonged cases).
- Weak grip or difficulty holding objects (a common complaint).
- Weakness in one or both hands.
Regarding diagnosis, Dr. Alessandro Thione clarifies that this is a clinical diagnosis that does not require tests or examinations in most cases. As for treatment, carpal tunnel release is a simple outpatient surgical procedure that consists of cutting the ligament that is putting pressure on the nerve.
Finally, the doctor reminds that surgery is effective, but in any case it will depend on how long the nerve compression has been present and its severity.