Integral Rheumatology & Immunology Specialists
Rheumatologists located in Plantation, FL
At first, the pain and tingling of carpal tunnel syndrome may be mild and occur infrequently, but it’s important to recognize the symptoms and start early treatment to prevent the condition from worsening. Dr. Guillermo Valenzuela and Dr. Marilu Colon at Integral Rheumatology & Immunology Specialists are the experts to see when you have carpal tunnel. If you have questions or would like to schedule an evaluation, use online booking or call the office in Plantation, Florida.
Carpal Tunnel Q & A
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops due to a pinched nerve, the median nerve, which travels down your arm, through your wrist, and into your hand.
The median nerve and nine tendons that bend your fingers and thumb, pass through a narrow space in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. When the nerve is pinched in the carpal tunnel, you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
The space in the tunnel can narrow and compress the nerve for several reasons:
- Repetitive Hand Use: When you perform the same movement over a long time, the tendons in the carpal tunnel may become swollen
- Hand and Wrist Position: Activities that involve flexing or extending your wrist increase pressure on the nerve. When you repeatedly perform activities such as typing at a keyboard with a bent wrist, you’re at risk for carpal tunnel
- Health Conditions: Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel
- Wrist Injuries: Any type of injury to the wrist bones, muscles, or tendons may lead to inflammation and swelling in the carpal tunnel
- Hormonal Changes: Conditions that cause hormonal changes, such as menopause, pregnancy, and thyroid disorders, may contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
What are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Symptoms often develop gradually, so at first, you may notice them when holding something with your wrist bent, such as a phone. The common symptoms of carpal tunnel include:
- Weakness in your hand
- Dropping things due to weakness
- Tingling that radiates from your wrist to your fingers
How is Carpal Tunnel Treated?
Your doctor at Integral Rheumatology & Immunology Specialists determines whether you have an underlying health condition contributing to carpal tunnel and develops treatment targeted to that problem.
Conservative measures that often relieve carpal tunnel include changing the way you use your hand or wearing a wrist splint to hold your wrist in a straight position. If your swelling is severe, corticosteroid injections significantly reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
When your symptoms don’t improve, you may need surgery to create more space in the carpal tunnel. Your doctor relieves pressure on the nerve by cutting the ligament that forms the roof of the tunnel.
In most cases, your doctor performs minimally invasive surgery, which only requires small incisions and is performed through a narrow surgical device called an endoscope.
If you have signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, call Integral Rheumatology & Immunology Specialists or book an appointment online.