Carpal Tunnel Specialist

Capital City Orthopaedics

Orthopedic Surgery Practice located in Austin, TX

Pain, weakness, and numbness in the hand and wrist are signs that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. Board-certified orthopedic surgeons Michael Burris, MD, and Omar Akhtar, MD, diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome at Capital City Orthopaedics in Austin, Texas. To find relief from carpal tunnel syndrome, call or book an appointment online today.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a passageway in your wrist that’s about an inch wide. The bottom and sides of this tunnel are formed by the carpal bones of your wrist, while a strong band of tissue called the transverse carpal ligament forms the top.

The main nerve that supplies sensation in your hand (median nerve) passes through the carpal tunnel along with nine tendons. Because the boundaries of the carpal tunnel are so strong, there’s little to no ability to stretch. This makes it easy for the median nerve to become constricted or pinched, which creates carpal tunnel syndrome.

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

The median nerve serves the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. For this reason, most carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms affect these fingers. Common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Pain, numbness, burning, or tingling
  • Weakness and clumsiness in the hand
  • Occasional shock-like sensations

Carpal tunnel syndrome may cause difficulty using your hand normally. You may find yourself dropping things or having trouble buttoning your clothes.

Who gets carpal tunnel syndrome?

Contrary to popular belief, this condition doesn’t exclusively affect office or assembly line workers. However, repetitive hand use over an extended period of time may aggravate the tendons in your wrist and cause swelling that constricts the nerve.

Other risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Health conditions such as diabetes
  • Wrist deformity from a fracture or arthritis

Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common among women than men. Older adults are more likely to develop this condition, but carpal tunnel syndrome can occur at any age.

How do you diagnose and treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Frist, Dr. Burris or Dr. Akhtar carefully examines your hand and wrist and reviews your medical history. They may check for numbness, tingling, or pain in your fingers or weakness in the muscles around your thumb.

They may also measure how well your median nerve is working with electrophysiological tests, such as a nerve conduction study.

Then, they recommend the best course of treatment for your particular condition. This may include:

  • Bracing or splinting your wrist
  • Nerve gliding exercises
  • Steroid injections

If your carpal tunnel syndrome is severe or doesn’t improve with treatment, they may recommend surgery.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is easiest to treat when it’s caught early. Call Capital City Orthopaedics or book an appointment online today.