If you have pain, tingling, and numbness in your hand or wrist area, it could be carpal tunnel syndrome. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Shults and his sports medicine specialist team evaluate and treat carpal tunnel syndrome at Coastal Empire Orthopedics located in Savannah, Georgia. Learn more about treatments that range from conservative to invasive, depending on the severity of your condition, by calling the office or booking an appointment online.
Your wrist bones – the carpal bones – form a narrow tunnel that sheathes the median nerve. This major nerve of the hand provides feeling in your thumb, index, and ring fingers. When inflammation causes swelling of the carpal tunnel or the tunnel narrows, it puts pressure on this nerve, leading to potentially serious pain and dysfunction.
Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage and worsening symptoms.
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome usually begin gradually and progress with time. They may include:
Symptoms may feel worse at night.
The doctors at Coastal Empire Orthopedics try conservative therapies first, especially if your symptoms are mild, to see if your condition can be resolved with minimal intervention. Conservative therapies may include wearing a brace to help rest the wrist and reduce inflammation. You may also benefit from steroid injections that help reduce inflammation.
Activity changes, such as reducing repetitive job tasks or modifying your workstation can also help alleviate your pain.
When conservative therapies fail or your symptoms are severe, you may be a candidate for a surgery called carpal tunnel release.
In many cases, you can be wide awake for the surgery, while your arm, wrist, and hand are numbed. This saves you the added costs of hospital, laboratory, and general anesthesia. But, if you’re more comfortable with general anesthesia or your procedure is more complex and requires it, the team at Coastal Empire Orthopedics perform your carpal tunnel surgery at the hospital.
The doctors may perform open carpal tunnel release, during which a small incision is made in the palm of your hand to allow the doctors to access and widen the carpal tunnel. Another alternative is endoscopic carpal tunnel release, in which Dr. Shults makes one to two small incisions through which he inserts a miniature camera and tiny instruments to open up the size of the carpal tunnel and free the nerve.
To learn how to manage carpal tunnel syndrome, call Coastal Empire Orthopedics or book an appointment online.