Carpal tunnel syndrome is an issue commonly associated with people who have jobs that require frequent and intricate movements. Most people think this condition only applies to those with office jobs, such as typists. However, there are many other occupations, hobbies, and activities that cause this condition. Some examples include athletes, knitters, painters, mechanics, musicians, carpenters, and chefs.
No matter the cause, carpal tunnel syndrome can be healed effectively if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, for some people, carpal tunnel syndrome is recurring and poses more than just a minor inconvenience in their lives.
Fortunately, an orthopedic surgeon in Watertown, New York, from the North Country Orthopaedic Group can offer treatment when carpal tunnel syndrome is recurrent or severe.
Carpal tunnel syndrome generally stems from pressure on the median nerve. This nerve runs from the arm to the hand. The median nerve travels down the thumb side of your hand through a space known as the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is a passageway comprised of ligaments and bones. When you apply compression on the median nerve where it passes through the carpal tunnel, you can develop a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel tends to go away with proper care. For some people, this condition comes back after treatment – sometimes even if you’ve had carpal tunnel release surgery.
Since carpal tunnel syndrome affects a peripheral nerve – a nerve that controls sensation – it may cause numbness and tingling in your hand. Sometimes, you may experience a feeling similar to an electric shock in your fingers, thumb, or wrist. These symptoms may affect your ring, middle, or index fingers along with your thumb. It won’t affect your little finger, since your ulnar nerve controls this finger.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome may be most noticeable when you’re gripping an object. With recurrent carpal tunnel, these symptoms arise, go away, and then return continuously.
If something compresses, irritates, or damages the median nerve, you can develop carpal tunnel syndrome. For instance, if you fracture your wrist and bone presses on the median nerve, you may develop it. In addition, you’re more at risk if you have diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases, this condition develops as a result of occupational duties, particularly when you perform repetitive movements that involve the wrist, such as working with vibrating tools.
The same causes of carpal tunnel syndrome can cause the condition to become chronic. Essentially, if you get treatment but continue to do the same hand movements as before, the condition can return. Many times, treatments can deliver temporary relief, causing symptoms to return eventually. In some cases, patients must alter their hand movements, even after conservative treatment, to ensure the condition doesn’t worsen again.
Treating the Underlying Cause
Based on the cause of your recurrent carpal tunnel syndrome, your practitioner may recommend surgery. You’ll either undergo endoscopic or open surgery. With open surgery, you will have a longer incision, and your surgeon will cut the ligaments to relieve pressure on the nerve. On the other hand, if you have endoscopic surgery, your surgeon will make one or two small incisions and use small tools and a tiny camera to perform the procedure.
When you need revision surgery, your surgeon will make an incision and correct the problem that’s placing pressure on your median nerve. This, however, is uncommon.
Choose an Orthopedic Surgeon in Watertown, NY for Your Recurring Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
At North Country Orthopaedic Group, our providers routinely treat carpal tunnel syndrome as well as chronic cases of the condition. Let us help you find a solution tailored to your needs, so you can overcome it. When conservative measures like bracing and physical therapy no longer work, a skilled orthopedic surgeon from our practice can provide surgical intervention using the latest techniques. We can even perform revision surgery.
If you’re suffering from recurring bouts of weakness, numbness, and tingling in your hand, contact North Country Orthopaedic Group, serving Watertown and the surrounding area, today by calling (315) 782-1650. You may also schedule an appointment via our convenient online booking form.