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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome neurosurgery technique
What is CTS?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that stems from the compression of the median nerve within the wrist’s carpal tunnel, which is a cramped pathway encased by bones and ligaments. This pressure can result in uncomfortable sensations like tingling, numbness, and decreased strength in the hand and arm. Several factors like the structure of the wrist, preexisting health problems, and frequent hand movements can contribute to the onset of the syndrome. But with effective treatment, it is possible to ease the numbness and tingling, and regain full function in the wrist and hand.
What are the CTS syndromes?
Carpal tunnel syndrome often begins with subtle symptoms, including:
- Numbness or tingling. One may experience a pins-and-needles sensation or numbness in their hand or fingers, particularly in the thumb, index, middle, or ring fingers, but not the little finger. This may result in an electric shock-like feeling in these digits. The symptoms can extend from the wrist to the arm and may occur while holding common objects like a phone, steering wheel, or newspaper, or even disturb one’s sleep. Some people might try to alleviate their symptoms by shaking out their hands. Over time, the numb feeling may become constant.
- Weakness. One may experience a decline in hand strength and frequently drop objects, either due to the numbness in their hand or the weakness in the muscles responsible for pinching with the thumb, which are also controlled by the median nerve.
When you should see the doctor?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome that are hindering your normal routine and causing disrupted sleep, seek medical advice promptly. Neglecting the condition may result in irreparable nerve and muscle damage.
What causes CTS?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by the median nerve being under pressure. The median nerve travels from the forearm through the carpal tunnel in the wrist to the hand, providing sensation to the thumb and fingers except the little finger and also allowing movement of the muscles around the base of the thumb. Anything that compresses or irritates the median nerve in the carpal tunnel can lead to the syndrome. This can include a wrist fracture that narrows the carpal tunnel and causes irritation, as well as inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis that causes swelling and irritation. The exact cause of carpal tunnel syndrome is often a combination of multiple risk factors.
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