Carpal Tunnel Specialist in Spartanburg, Duncan, and Greenville, SC

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common cause of hand pain and numbness. In the US, as many as 10 million people experience some symptoms of CTS each year, and approximately 500,000 surgeries to treat CTS are performed annually. The symptoms of CTS are variable, but if left untreated, the progressive nerve damage that results may lead to permanent hand dysfunction.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the synovium tissues surrounding the flexor tendons in the wrist swell and put pressure on the median nerve. The swelling narrows the carpal tunnel and causes pressure to increase on the median nerve over time. The increased pressure causes nerve swelling, reduces blood flow to the nerve, and prevents adequate oxygen delivery. Heredity, overuse, age, and preexisting conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis can be contributing factors to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
  • Symptoms of CTS usually occur gradually and without a specific injury. Some of these symptoms include:
  • Numbness, tingling, or an electric shock-like feeling, mainly in the palm or fingers.
  • Nighttime symptoms of pain or numbness that wake the patient.
  • Clumsiness and a tendency to drop objects.
  • A sense of swelling or tightness in the hand.
  • Temperature changes or intolerance in the hand.
  • Hand weakness.

Usually, these symptoms affect the thumb, index, and long fingers, but many patients describe the involvement of the entire hand and may even have symptoms radiating up the forearm. Symptoms usually start intermittently with certain activities but generally become more frequent and may cause permanent changes if untreated. Our Orthopedic walk-in urgent care clinic is available for treatment Monday-Friday. The orthopedic hand surgeons at CONA can help confirm a diagnosis and clarify the best treatment option for you.

How Do You Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carolina Orthopedic & Neurological Association’s board-certified wrist specialists offer multiple carpal tunnel treatment options, including bracing, medication, or steroid injections. The first steps may include bracing, medication, or steroid injections. However, these conservative treatments may be insufficient for patients with symptoms lasting longer than ten months, who experience continued numbness, whose muscles in the base of the palm begin to shrink, or who are over 50. Appropriately timed surgery can prevent irreversible damage and improve symptoms and function.

Traditional and minimally invasive surgeries are available to reduce pressure on the nerve. Compared with other procedures, CTS surgery is very safe. Possible complications from surgery include nerve injury, bleeding, and infection. Most patients report improved symptoms within days, although continued recovery of sensation and strength may take months as nerve function normalizes. Your physician may recommend hand therapy to assist in strengthening and improving movement.

How Can I Minimize My Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms?

While there are no proven strategies to prevent CTS, some tips to minimize stress on your hands and wrists and reduce carpal tunnel pain include:

  • Reduce and relax your grip when performing manual tasks
  • Change hand position often when having symptoms
  • Wear gloves with padded palms when possible
  • Take frequent breaks to rest your hands and wrists
  • Improve your posture and keep your hands warm to reduce pain and stiffness

Symptoms of CTS generally worsen with time, but symptoms can be modified or stopped in the early stages. If you are experiencing pain in your wrists or hands, make an appointment with one of the top-rated orthopedic hand physicians in South Carolina as soon as possible.

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I am happy with this practice all my questions are answered within 24 hours. Dr. Hoenig is great, his bedside manner is wonderful, he is very thorough, and makes personal calls after surgery to check on patients. I would definitely recommend to family and friends!

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