Carpal tunnel syndrome affects an estimated 3-6% of all adults, but women are especially at risk, as they develop this painful condition three times more often than men. Charles P. Capito, MD, in Weirton, West Virginia, Steubenville, Ohio, or Oakdale, Pennsylvania, encourages you to seek treatment early to prevent nerve damage and protect the muscles in your hand. If you have questions about your symptoms or you’d like to schedule an appointment, you can use the online form or call the office.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it goes through your wrist. The median nerve travels down your arms and into your hands. It passes through the bones in your wrist using a narrow space called the carpal tunnel.
The carpal tunnel is a rigid space that’s surrounded by bone and the nerve shares the space with numerous tendons. When any of the soft tissues inside the tunnel become inflamed, or when there’s damage to the bone, the carpal tunnel narrows and pinches the nerve, creating carpal tunnel syndrome.
In rare cases, you may have a smaller-than-normal wrist that increases your risk of carpal tunnel. In most cases, however, the condition is caused by:
Changes in hormones during pregnancy and menopause make women more susceptible to carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel usually develops slowly, so the symptoms sneak up on you. When symptoms first appear, they’re so mild you may not pay attention to them. As the condition worsens, you’ll experience:
It’s also common to develop a tingling or pins-and-needles sensation that radiates from your wrist to your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
It’s important to visit the office of Charles P. Capito, MD, for treatment as soon as you start to recognize the symptoms of carpal tunnel for two reasons. First, because permanent damage to the nerve is possible, and second because the condition responds well to conservative therapies when treatment begins in the early stage.
At an early stage, your treatment may include:
If your carpal tunnel syndrome is too severe or your symptoms don’t respond to conservative treatment, Dr. Capito may recommend surgery to release pressure on the nerve. Dr. Capito is the only Dr. in the area giving you the option of a small incision Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release.
When you develop wrist pain or other symptoms, call Charles P. Capito, MD, for a carpal tunnel evaluation or schedule an appointment online.