You’ve developed an ache in your wrist or numbness in some of your fingers, and you’re hoping that, if you ignore the symptoms, they’ll eventually just go away. With most health issues, this approach is rarely good, as many conditions get worse, not better. And this can be very true of carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects between 1% and 5% of the general population.
As orthopedic specialists, Dr. Rajiv Sood and the team here at Spine & Orthopedic Center are often called upon to fix issues that have been left untreated for far too long, often making our job and your recovery journey more challenging.
We cover some key points below to give you an idea about the dangers of leaving carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) untreated.
Your carpal tunnel is a small passageway — about an inch wide — on the underside of your wrist where your median nerve and nine flexor tendons run through. The nerves and tendons provide much of the sensation and movement in your hand and fingers.
When you have carpal tunnel syndrome, the synovium — the membrane tissues surrounding the tendons — becomes inflamed, pressing up against your median nerve. This nerve impingement can lead to numbness, pain, tingling, and weakness in your wrist and hand.
Risk factors for CTS include:
Most people develop CTS between the ages of 40 and 60.
There are a few reasons why treating carpal tunnel syndrome at the first signs of trouble is a good practice:
Let’s start with an obvious reason why coming to see us when you have CTS is a good idea — we can get you on the road to relief more quickly. CTS can be more than just a minor nuisance and impact function between the pain and the numbness and weakness in your hand.
The symptoms of CTS often start gradually — you feel occasional tingling, numbness, or pain in your fingers. If left untreated, these symptoms grow more severe and become more constant, often plaguing you day and night.
We can stop the progression with treatment by reducing inflammation and nerve impingement.
With CTS, the blood supply to your median nerve can become compromised, which can lead to permanent nerve damage.
To avoid the progressive outcomes we outline above and relieve your symptoms, we suggest you visit us.
If we confirm CTS, we will set you up with a brace that will keep your wrist straight, and we work on reducing inflammation in your carpal tunnel. In most cases, over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can do the trick, but we might boost these medications with a corticosteroid injection.
We also provide you with some nerve-gliding exercises and go over some modifications in your activity to give your wrist time to heal.
In most cases, these treatments are successful in treating CTS. Surgery for this condition isn’t all that common, but it can be necessary if your condition doesn’t respond to more conservative efforts.
For expert treatment of your carpal tunnel syndrome, please contact our office in Jonesboro, Georgia, to schedule an appointment.