Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a disease process caused by impingement of the Median nerve at the wrist. It typically begins with numbness and tingling in the fingers. Traditionally it affects mainly the thumb, index and middle fingers and splits the ring finger in half. Many patients feel as though all the fingers are involved. It can progress to a painful sensation in the hand that may radiate up the forearm and arm. In severe cases it can result in atrophy and weakness of the muscles in the hand.
The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome tend to be noticed while using the hands (e.g., driving, holding the phone, using tools). It is also common to experience numbness and tingling in the hands at night which will wake patients from sleep.
The symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can also be seen in other disease processes such as herniated discs in the neck, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis and nerve impingement at other sites. It is commonly misdiagnosed by healthcare professionals who are not neurologists. In addition, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be the sign of another disease process such as diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disease or Lupus.
The diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is confirmed by a test called Nerve Conduction Studies. This test should only be performed by a neurologist with specific training in this type of testing. Unfortunately, many doctors’ have mobile technicians in their offices performing these tests. Because these technicians have no background in neurology, their test results are almost always erroneous.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is easily treated. If caught early surgery may be avoided. The biggest mistake patients make is waiting too long to see a neurologist.
Contact us today for an appointment to address your concerns.