Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm to the hand, becomes compressed at the wrist. This compression can lead to various symptoms, including pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand and fingers. At The Nerve Institute, under the guidance of Dr. Mytien Goldberg, a leading expert in peripheral nerve injury and nerve pain, we offer cutting-edge carpal tunnel treatments in Los Angeles to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and restore optimal function.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment
The Median Nerve: Understanding the Nerve Anatomy
The median nerve is a mixed nerve that originates from the brachial plexus in the neck and travels down the arm to supply sensation and motor function to the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. It passes through the carpal tunnel, a narrow passageway in the wrist, along with tendons and other nerves. The median nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles that allow us to grip and pinch, as well as transmitting sensory information from the fingers to the brain.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common condition that results from compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This compression can occur for various reasons, including repetitive hand movements, wrist injuries, arthritis, or anatomical abnormalities. If left untreated, CTS can lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of hand function. Carpal tunnel treatment in Los Angeles options range from non-surgical interventions, such as wrist splints and physical therapy, to surgical options, such as carpal tunnel release.
Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Pain in the wrist or hand
- Numbness or tingling in the fingers, particularly the thumb, index, middle, and the ring finger
- Weakness in the hand or difficulty gripping objects
- Difficulty with fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothes or writing
- Sensation of swelling in the fingers, despite no visible swelling
- Symptoms that are worse at night or upon waking in the morning
- Symptoms that worsen with activities that require repetitive wrist movements
- Loss of coordination and muscle mass in the hand, in severe cases
Possible Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
- Repetitive hand and wrist movements, such as typing or assembly line work
- Injuries to the wrist, such as fractures or sprains
- Anatomical abnormalities of the wrist, such as a narrow carpal tunnel or bone spurs
- Arthritis or other inflammatory conditions that affect the wrist joint
- Fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause
- Diabetes or other metabolic disorders that affect nerve function
- Thyroid dysfunction or other hormonal imbalances
- Use of vibrating hand tools
- Obesity or other factors that increase pressure on the median nerve.
To learn more about how carpal tunnel treatments in Los Angeles can help you, contact our office for an appointment today.
What Happens When the Median Nerve is Damaged
When the median nerve is damaged, it can result in a range of symptoms, depending on the extent and location of the injury. Damage to the nerve can lead to loss of sensation, weakness, and muscle wasting in the hand and fingers that it supplies. In severe cases, the muscles in the hand may become completely paralyzed, and there may be a complete loss of sensation in the affected fingers. If the damage is left untreated, it can lead to permanent nerve damage.
Carpal Tunnel Release: Surgical Intervention
Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the carpal tunnel to relieve pressure on the median nerve. This procedure can be performed using an open incision or a minimally invasive approach and can be done under local anesthesia. Carpal tunnel release aims to restore normal nerve function and improve hand function. In most cases, carpal tunnel release is a highly effective carpal tunnel treatment in Los Angeles.
Carpal Tunnel Treatment FAQs
Can carpal tunnel syndrome lead to permanent damage if left untreated?
Yes, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent damage if left untreated. Over time, the pressure on the median nerve can cause nerve damage and muscle atrophy. This can result in weakness, numbness, and permanent loss of sensation in the affected hand. It’s crucial to seek treatment early to prevent long-term complications.
How do wrist splints help in treating carpal tunnel syndrome?
Wrist splints are designed to keep the wrist in a neutral position, reducing pressure on the median nerve. By wearing a splint at night or during activities that aggravate symptoms, you can alleviate pain and tingling. They provide support, promote proper wrist alignment, and allow inflammation to decrease, aiding in the healing process.
Are there lifestyle changes that can alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms?
Yes, there are lifestyle changes that can help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms. These include taking regular breaks from repetitive tasks, maintaining proper ergonomics at workstations, practicing hand and wrist exercises, and managing underlying health conditions like diabetes. These adjustments can reduce strain on the wrist and prevent complications. If you still have pain, we offer carpal tunnel treatment in Los Angeles.
How effective is carpal tunnel release as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, and will I get full wrist function back?
Carpal tunnel release is an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome. It involves surgically cutting the transverse carpal ligament to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Most patients experience significant symptom improvement, and many regain full wrist function after recovery. However, individual outcomes may vary, and factors like the severity of the condition and post-surgery rehabilitation play a crucial role in the final result.
If I have to constantly type for my job, what can I do to avoid getting carpal tunnel syndrome?
To prevent carpal tunnel syndrome while typing, maintain proper ergonomics by ensuring your wrists are in a neutral position, use an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, take regular breaks to stretch and rest your hands, and adjust your typing technique to reduce strain. Implementing these practices can help minimize the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Are there exercises that I can do on my own to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome?
Yes, proper exercises can possibly assist in avoiding extensive carpal tunnel treatment in Los Angeles. You can engage in exercises that focus on strengthening and stretching the muscles and tendons in the wrist and hand. Examples include wrist flexor and extensor stretches, nerve gliding exercises, and hand and finger stretches. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help maintain wrist flexibility and reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Schedule Your Consultation With Dr. Goldberg
The Nerve Institute, under the leadership of Dr. Mytien Goldberg, offers cutting-edge treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome and other peripheral nerve injuries. As a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in microsurgery and nerve reconstruction, Dr. Goldberg has extensive experience treating various nerve injuries and pain conditions. She will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs, helping you achieve optimal hand function. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Goldberg today.