Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), commonly misspelled as “carpel tunnel syndrome,” is produced by swelling within or around the carpal tunnel. This creates pressure on the median nerve, which runs through the tunnel and provides sensation to many of the muscles in the hand. Carpal tunnel causes include any structural defect in the hand or inflammatory condition that puts pressure on the median nerve.
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Common Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Specific conditions which can lead a person to develop carpal tunnel include:
- Repetitive strain injury from motions of fingers or wrist, such as typing
- Cysts, which can create swelling and pressure around the carpal tunnel
- Fractures, which can create pressure or irritate the median nerve
- Tumors in the hand or wrist, which can cause inflammation of nearby muscles and nerves
Carpal Tunnel Test and Diagnosis
There are several diagnostic tests used to detect CTS. These exams provide information pertaining to the cause and severity of CTS, and help a physician to determine the most effective treatment options. The physicians of the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence utilize state-of-the-art facilities to provide the latest and most effective diagnostic exams for carpal tunnel syndrome. A complete examination to confirm the cause and extent of CTS may include the following:
- Tinel’s test – thumping the skin over an irritated nerve will cause tingling in the area of nerve distribution
- Phalen’s wrist flexion test – with the wrist maximally flexed, your doctor will look for signs such as muscle weakness, a tingling sensation in the fingers, and tenderness at the wrist overlying the median nerve
- X-ray or MRI– Imaging of the hand and wrist may reveal a fracture, cyst, or tumor that could be causing inflammation and CTS
- Electromyography – the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles in your hand can be recorded to reveal abnormalities in nerve signaling
- Nerve conduction study – compares the speed of electrical conduction in the median nerve with conduction in other nerves supplying the hand
Once the cause of carpal tunnel syndrome has been diagnosed, steps can be taken to resolve the condition. Because patients present with various combinations of symptoms, severity, and causation, it is crucial to receive personalized care for CTS. The surgeons of the Hand Surgery Center of Excellence are dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care, unique to each patient.
Contact a Los Angeles Hand Surgeon
The Hand Surgery Center of Excellence offers renowned orthopedic and plastic surgeons specializing in the treatment of hand conditions. If you have specific questions or have been experiencing symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can contact our hand surgeons in Los Angeles and get carpal tunnel relief by calling (888) 529-1873.
Next, read about non-surgical treatments of carpal tunnel syndrome.