Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Bozeman, MT
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that starts with numbness or tingling in the fingers. Over time, your symptoms worsen, affecting sensation and function in your hand and arm. An early diagnosis and treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome may prevent chronic health complications. Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Bozeman, Montana, is a state-of-the-art full-service orthopedic practice. The experienced team diagnoses and treats carpal tunnel syndrome using advanced on-site tools and techniques. Call or book an appointment online today.
Carpal Tunnel Q & A
What is the carpal tunnel?
The carpal tunnel is a passageway in your wrist. The floor and sides of your carpal tunnel consist of small wrist bones, while the cover on the top is a strong ligament known as the transverse ligament.
Your median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and into your hand. One of the main nerves in your hand, the median nerve provides feeling in your thumb, index, middle, and ring finger and controls the muscles at the base of your thumb.
Compression of your median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel may affect feeling and function in your thumb and fingers. When this happens, you have carpal tunnel syndrome.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually and worsen over time. Initially, you may feel tingling and numbness in your thumb or fingers.
Many people may first notice these symptoms when they wake up in the morning, which goes away with a quick shake of the wrist. As the condition worsens, your symptoms may not go away as quickly, and you may experience weakness in your hand.
When left untreated, compression on the median nerve may lead to permanent nerve damage.
If you have carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, the team at Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine can help.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
When you visit Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, the team conducts comprehensive exams to provide an accurate diagnosis.
Your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history and then examines your hand and wrist. They perform various tests to check the sensation in your fingers and the strength of the muscles at the base of your thumb.
They may also perform on-site diagnostic testing, which may include X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, or electromyography (EMG).
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome may depend on the severity of your symptoms and the degree of nerve damage. When possible, the team at Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine takes a non-surgical approach, which may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Activity modification
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections
If non-surgical treatment fails to alleviate your symptoms or they worsen over time, then the team may recommend carpal tunnel release. They may use open or endoscopic surgical techniques to perform this procedure, which decreases pressure on the nerve to alleviate symptoms.
For comprehensive carpal tunnel syndrome care from an experienced team, call Alpine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, or request an appointment online today.
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