If you regularly experience hand or wrist pain as a result of repetitive motions such as typing or using hand tools, you might have carpal tunnel. At Orthopaedic Surgical Associates, LLC in Fairbanks, Alaska, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Jimmy Tamai, MD, works with men and women to diagnose and treat carpal tunnel using safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatments. To schedule your carpal tunnel appointment, call the office or book online today.
Carpal tunnel, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome, is a painful condition that causes numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms, hands, and wrists. It occurs when your median nerve, one of the primary nerves in your hand, becomes compressed or squeezed as it travels through your wrist.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel usually get worse over time, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Early intervention can slow the condition’s progression and improve your quality of life.
Common symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
As your carpal tunnel gets worse, you might also find yourself dropping objects, such as silverware, hand tools, or writing utensils.
Most cases of carpal tunnel occur as a result of several factors. For example, women are more likely to experience carpal tunnel, as are older individuals. Other risk factors for carpal tunnel include:
Chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid gland imbalance can also increase your risk of carpal tunnel.
To diagnose carpal tunnel, Dr. Tamai reviews your medical history and asks you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing. He also conducts a thorough physical exam of your hands, fingers, and wrists. During this exam, Dr. Tamai:
He also looks for atrophy or muscle deterioration at the base of your thumbs and fingers.
Treatment of carpal tunnel depends on the severity of your symptoms, but Dr. Tamai usually recommends conservative nonsurgical therapies. If you have mild or moderate carpal tunnel, you might benefit from bracing, splints, corticosteroid injections, or hyaluronic acid injections.
If your hand and wrist pain gets worse or negatively affects your quality of life, surgical intervention may be necessary. During carpal tunnel surgery, Dr. Tamai cuts the transverse carpal ligament, relieving pressure on your median nerve.
To learn more about your treatment options for carpal tunnel, schedule an appointment with Dr. Tamai at Orthopaedic Surgical Associates, LLC, today by calling the office, or clicking the online booking tool.