What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is an actual tunnel, or passageway, inside the wrist. It runs up the palm side of your hand and its surrounded by a variety of bones and ligaments.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is what happens when the median nerve in the general location of your wrist receives too much compression or pressure. The person suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome will begin to feel numbness, pain, and even increased weakness in the hand, wrist, and arm thats being affected. If you feel numbness and tingling, specifically in the thumb, index, middle, and half of the ring finger, it is most likely the median nerve involved, said Dr. Maximos.
Disability Caused By Carpal Tunnel
Do you struggle with tingling or numbness in your hands, wrist, or arms? Do your hands ever become so weak due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that you drop items you are holding?Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a compression of the median nerves in the wrist. Symptoms are initially felt at night when pain begins to extend up the arm.The diagnosis comes after electrodiagnostic tests. As gruelling as the process may be, remember that you are not the only one experiencing this condition. Thousands of other Canadians experience Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which commonly appears during adulthood.Some Canadians are more at risk of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome than others. For instance, those with certain health problems that impact the swelling of the joints and flow of blood to the arms may be at higher risk. Women over the age of 40 are also likely to experience these symptoms, especially if they partake in activities or work in an environment that requires repeated motions, like typing.If you type or perform repeated motions at work, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may prevent you from returning. You might not be able to work at all, especially if you consistently drop items or experience intense pain when you try to type.
Why It Happens And Whos At Risk
Ulnar nerve compression can occur in people who hold their elbow bent more than 90 degrees for long periods of time. Bending your elbow repeatedly, sleeping with your elbow bent, or prolonged leaning on your elbow can also cause cubital tunnel syndrome.
People who have fractured or dislocated their elbow or who have bone spurs or swelling in the elbow are at increased risk of ulnar nerve compression. Diabetes is probably the most commonly associated disease, says Dr. Evans.
Cubital tunnel syndrome can also be caused by joint damage from arthritis. However, cubital tunnel syndrome is a very late occurrence in the course of arthritis, which is uncommon at the elbow.
If you think that you may have cubital tunnel syndrome, see your doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and may order nerve conduction studies to identify where the nerve is being compressed. X-rays may be taken to detect visible causes of compression, such as bone spurs or elbow arthritis.
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What Are The Risks Of Carpal Tunnel Release
In addition to the usual risks of any surgery, the potential risks for carpal tunnel release include:
- Recurrence or persistence of the condition requiring the operation
- Continued, increased, or different pain
Your doctor will discuss with you any concerns you may have about the surgery and recovery.
What Kind Of Orthosis Is Used For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Example of nighttime orthosis for cubital tunnel syndrome. Our senior hand therapist will help determine which activities aggravate the symptoms, and instruct in modifying these activities. Hand treatment may include exercises for the arm and hand, taping, fitting for a padded elbow sleeve, as well as a custom made orthosis for night use.
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Treatments For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome And Radial Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome often can be managed conservatively, especially if electromyography reveals that there is minimal pressure on the ulnar nerve.
Mild cases of cubital tunnel syndrome often respond to physical therapies such as:
- Avoidance of undue pressure on the elbow during daily activities
- Wearing a protective elbow pad over the “funny bone” during daily activities
- Wearing a splint during sleep to prevent over-bending of the elbow
In cases where splinting doesn’t help or nerve compression is more severe, about 85% of patients respond to some form of surgery to release pressure on the ulnar nerve. These include surgeries that:
- Result in simple decompression of the ulnar nerve
- Shift the nerve to the front of the elbow
- Move the nerve under a layer of fat, under the muscle, or within the muscle
- Trim the bump of the inner portion of the elbow — the medial epicondyle — under which the ulnar nerve passes
If you undergo surgery for cubital tunnel syndrome, recovery may involve restrictions on lifting and elbow movement, and rehabilitation therapy. Although numbness and tingling may or may not quickly improve, recovery of hand and wrist strength may take several months.
Conservative treatments for radial tunnel syndrome include medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce soft tissue swelling, corticosteroid injections to relieve inflammation and pressure on the radial nerve, and wrist and/or elbow splints to reduce irritation of the radial nerve.
Acupuncture For Carpal And Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Acupuncture can help with the severe pain and numbness that is part of these conditions. Because posture plays a large part in how these conditions work acupuncture is useful as it relaxes muscles and slowly straightens the spine. Acupuncture will also assist in decreasing swelling and inflammation in your arm.
While treating the symptoms we can also address other common issues that arise with Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes. Neck pain, shoulder stiffness, headaches and sleep disturbances can all be helped with acupuncture and TCM.
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Medical History And Physical Examination
Your doctor will discuss your medical history and general health. He or she may also ask about your work, your activities, and what medications you are taking.
After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will examine your arm and hand to determine which nerve is compressed and where it is compressed. Some of the physical examination tests your doctor may do include:
- Tap over the nerve at the funny bone. If the nerve is irritated, this can cause a shock into the little finger and ring finger although this can happen when the nerve is normal as well.
- Check whether the ulnar nerve slides out of normal position when you bend your elbow.
- Move your neck, shoulder, elbow, and wrist to see if different positions cause symptoms.
- Check for feeling and strength in your hand and fingers.
To perform Tinel’s test for nerve damage, your doctor will lightly tap along the inside of the elbow joint, directly over the ulnar nerve.
About Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is also caused by compression of a nerve in your arm, specifically the ulnar nerve at the elbow. This nerve passes through a tunnel of muscle, ligament, and bone called the cubital tunnel. When this tunnel is inflamed or injured, you experience the symptoms of cubital tunnel syndrome.
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How Does The Carpal Solution Help With Carpal Tunnel
In this way the Carpal Solution eliminates the hand pain and hand numbness associated with impingement of the Median Nerve. Dr. Morgan continues, The dual action of increased nutrient rich blood flow combined with relieving external pressure on the Median Nerve results in rapid relief from the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Symptoms Of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
Cubital tunnel syndrome is going to present itself on the inner part of the elbow .
Cubital tunnel syndrome may present first as a dull pain through the inner elbow that throbs out. It may also present as numbness or tingling that goes down from the elbow into the fingers, reaching the ring and pinky fingers.
There may be a popping sensation during certain arm movements and in serious cases, the patient may begin to experience muscle atrophy and serious weakness in the affected arm.
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Who Can Help Treat My Arm Pain
If you suspect that you have cubital tunnel syndrome or radial tunnel syndrome, contact our upper extremity specialists at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our board-certified surgeons are ready to give you back the quality of life you deserve.
Call us today at 296-6232 or request an appointment online. Get access to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment today!
Causes Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome has many different causes, some of which seem minimal. The anatomy of your wrist is a factor. Some people are simply predisposed to carpal tunnel syndrome. Certain health problems can also contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
A primary contributor, though, is the use of repetitive hand motions. This can be drawing, typing, waving, certain types of sports, writing, or really any kind of activity that requires frequent movement of the hands and wrists.
Many people who work with their hands experience carpal tunnel syndrome, making their work more difficult.
3 times more women end up with carpal tunnel syndrome than men, though this is thought largely to be due to the difference in types of work and activities that are completed by both.
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Treatment Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
There are two primary ways to deal with carpal tunnel: surgical and nonsurgical.
Many doctors recommend nonsurgical treatment for mild cases. This is going to be similar to preventative measures. Youre going to avoid putting pressure on the hands and wrists.
You can use ice packs to reduce swelling, and a doctor may recommend a wrist splint to help you avoid unnecessary harmful movement. They may also suggest a steroid injection.
If this isnt sufficient, surgery is an option for serious cases. The ligament pressing on the median nerve will be cut, releasing the pressure causing the syndrome. While there are risks to this surgery, it can be effective. Some symptoms, however, may never fully go away.
Dr. Maximos of Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas said, Our preferred treatment of patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome that fails to resolve with conservative treatment is the Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release.
Is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Permanent
Cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common nerve entrapment syndrome after carpal tunnel syndrome, and can cause similar pain and weakness in the affected hand. Left untreated, the condition can cause permanent nerve damage and disability. Usually, nonsurgical treatment can cure cubital tunnel syndrome, although in more severe cases where there is significant pain or disability, surgery may be recommended. This is usually the case for those who suffer from severe hand pain, tingling, muscle weakness, or numbness.
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Radial Tunnel Syndrome: Causes And Symptoms
Radial tunnel syndrome is caused by increased pressure on the radial nerve, which runs by the bones and muscles of the forearm and elbow. Causes include:
- Inflammation of surrounding tissue
Symptoms of radial tunnel syndrome include:
- Cutting, piercing, or stabbing pain at the top of the forearm or back of the hand, especially when you try to straighten your wrist and fingers.
In contrast to cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, radial tunnel syndrome rarely causes numbness or tingling, because the radial nerve principally affects the muscles.
Just as with cubital tunnel syndrome, if you have any of these symptoms, your doctor may be able to diagnose radial tunnel syndrome by physical examination alone. They also may order electromyography to confirm the diagnosis, identify the area of nerve damage, and stage the severity of the condition.
How Are Carpal Tunnel And Cubital Tunnel Similar
Both Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel involve the compression of a nerve through a narrow passageway, and both can cause pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the hand. Both conditions can also weaken the hand and make everyday tasks more difficult or even dangerous.
People with certain medical conditions are at increased risk for both Cubital Tunnel and Carpal Tunnel. Diabetes, carrying excessive weight and pregnancy are all factors that increase the risk of developing these conditions.
Its important to seek professional advice for both Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel as both conditions, if left untreated, can ultimately lead to permanent nerve damage.
Fortunately, both Carpal Tunnel and Cubital Tunnel can be addressed by a hand specialist and multiple options exist for management and treatment of both of these conditions. If you believe youre suffering from either condition, make sure to find a fellowship-trained surgeon who specializes in the hand for the best possible outcome. The staff at Midwest Hand Surgery is here to help. or call us at 630-359-6888.
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Treatment Of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
The treatment of cubital tunnel syndrome, provided that its mild, is largely noninvasive.
Patients should rest their elbows, use splints or pads to protect the area, and take over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. Generally, this is enough to ease the problem.
If the pain or numbness persists, more intense measures may need to be taken. Nerve decompression surgery and nerve relocation surgery are two popular options for cubital tunnel syndrome recovery. A doctor may also recommend an injection of a steroid before opting for surgery.
Carpal Tunnel Vs Cubital Tunnel
Both syndromes affect the hand and fingers, but the pain, tingling, and numbness of carpal tunnel syndrome is felt most acutely in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Its also characterized by pain and burning in the hand and wrist that sometimes radiates up the forearm to the elbow.
Meanwhile, cubital tunnel syndrome is marked by numbness, pain, and tingling in the little and ring fingers as well as the inside of the hand. If you have cubital tunnel syndrome, you may notice these symptoms flare up at night when you bend your elbow for long periods as you sleep.
Diagnosing cubital tunnel syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome begins with a physical examination. An orthopedist may also perform a nerve conduction study to assess nerve impulses in the wrist or elbow. Weak nerve activity in a certain area could indicate, for example, carpal tunnel syndrome.
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What Happens If Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Is Left Untreated
Left Untreated, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Can Lead to Weakness in Fingers and Thumb. It can show if the nerve is compressed. If you are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, a wrist splint is often the first step in treatment. A splint can be particularly helpful for people whose symptoms are bothering them at night.
Winning Disability Benefits For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Are you struggling to win your long-term disability benefits for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Canada? Do you find yourself struggling with your illness, unable to go to work and complete your duties?
If you are in the process of applying for long-term benefits for a disability like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, or you know that the financial weight is crippling, you know that you may need assistance. All too many insurance companies look at Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as a condition that requires little treatment, and diagnosis can come late.Many employers are actually unaware of the impact working with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can have. Additionally, the process of applying for disability benefits can take time and otherwise become a difficult endeavour. The result? A nightmare that could leave you unable to work as you cope with long-term disabilities.In the following article, you will learn about the challenge of applying for disability benefits that will benefit your long-term goals. If you are looking for disability benefits for Carpal Tunnel syndrome in Canada, there are a few steps you need to take to earn the assistance you are entitled to receive.
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Why The Carpal Solution Is The Next Best Thing To A Cure For Cts:
- It works for 97% of people with Carpal Tunnel.
- It is an all-natural carpal tunnel treatment.
- It is safe and has no downtime.
- It is clinically documented to work.
- It is convenient, with treatment during sleep.
- The Carpal Solution was developed by Doctors working with patients.
- It is patented medical technology.
- It has been registered with the FDA.
- It has been used by over 150,000 people.
- When it comes back after 2 to 7 years, you simply repeat the nighttime treatment.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Isnt Just About Typing
Although carpal tunnel syndrome first developed a widespread reputation due to its afflicting workers who spent a lot of time on computer keyboards, typing is just one cause, and not necessarily the most common one. Any repetitive hand or finger motions can be the culprit in carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly those that require force and may even cause the hands and fingers to vibrate, such as:
- Doing assembly-line work
However, you can also develop carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of trauma, such as an accident. Youre more likely to develop it as you age and your tissues degrade.
When you develop carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve that runs from your arm to your thumb and other fingers gets compressed in your wrist. The nerve runs through a bony structure called the carpal tunnel, which is designed to protect both the nerve and other tissues, such as the ligaments and flexor tendons that service your hand and fingers.
If you repeat the same hand, finger, or wrist movements over and over, those tendons and ligaments get irritated and swollen. The swelling presses against the median nerve, so that it becomes irritated and swollen, too. Thats when you start to feel symptoms in your thumb, fingers, wrist, and arm, such as:
- Inability to grasp
- Dropping things
Although you can feel symptoms anywhere along the arm, wrist, and fingers, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome if you feel symptoms in your:
- Middle finger
- Ring finger
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