If you have pain or tingling in your hands, you’re not alone, because 3-6% of the American adult population has carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the most common nerve entrapment neuropathy. At Suffolk Spine and Joint Medical, Mike M. Pappas, DO, specializes in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome in his patients in Riverhead, Northport, and Ronkonkoma, New York, getting them on the road to recovery more quickly. For more information, call one of the three locations or fill out the online form to request an appointment.
You have very small bones in your wrist called carpal bones, which form the floor and sides of your carpal tunnel. Stretching over the top of this tunnel is your transverse carpal ligament. Together, these components come together to form a narrow passageway (only about an inch) to protect and provide passage for your median nerve, as well as nine flexor tendons. To say that this is a crowded tunnel would be an understatement, which means there’s little wiggle room for any problems that may develop.
But problems do develop, namely swelling in the tissue that surrounds your tendons, which narrows the tunnel and puts pressure on your median nerve.
Your median nerve travels down your arm and through your wrist to provide sensation for all of your fingers except your pinkie finger, and it also controls the muscles at the base of your thumb. When this nerve is entrapped or compressed, it can lead to pain and tingling in your hand, as well as muscle weakness.
In some cases, the symptoms may travel back up the median nerve to your arm.
The primary factors that lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include:
There are many roads that lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, but if you take prompt action, you can reverse the condition and regain full and normal use of your hand.
Dr. Pappas specializes in neuropathy and has the tools necessary to determine whether nerve entrapment is at play. Through nerve conduction studies and electromyography, he can measure the electrical activity in your median nerve and how well it’s conducting electrical impulses. This information is vital in diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome, allowing him to take the appropriate steps to bring you relief.
In most cases, Dr. Pappas recommends conservative treatments, such as bracing your wrist and using anti-inflammatory medications to keep the swelling inside your carpal tunnel down. If your pain is considerable, Dr. Pappas may turn to a corticosteroid injection. If he determines that your carpal tunnel syndrome requires surgery, he points you in the right direction for help.
For expert diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, call Suffolk Spine and Joint Medical or use the online scheduling tool to request a consultation.