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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Putting It All Together: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 17:50

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, is a painful disorder in which the major nerve to the hands and fingers, theĀ median nerve, is "compressed" in a tunnel at the wrist. This may cause tingling, numbness, and other symptoms in certain parts of the hand and fingers.
  • In most cases, the cause is unknown. CTS can be brought on by repetitive motion and awkward positioning of the hands and wrists, or it may stem from medical conditions associated with swelling.
  • CTS can occasionally cause permanent disability to the hand if not treated.
  • Women are more likely to get CTS than men are.
  • Professional diagnosis is important because there are other disorders that can cause symptoms similar to CTS.
  • Symptoms appear gradually. They include, but are not limited to, numbness, tingling or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, particularly the index and middle fingers.
  • A telltale sign of CTS is when symptoms are severe enough to awaken the sufferer from sleep.
  • There are self-help measures everyone can take after being properly diagnosed, including targeted exercises, modifying one's work habits and workstation, wrist splints, and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Surgery should be performed only when other treatments have failed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome