What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carpal tunnel syndrome is classified as an occupational health disorder because it is most commonly seen in people that perform chronic, repetitive movements involving the hands and wrist's. Typing is a good example. CTS is caused by irritation to the median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. When the median nerve is irritated tissue edema causes pressure on surrounding structures. The edematous soft tissue is what causes the pain and decreased range of motion to to wrist and hand. CTS leads to tenosynovitis, inflammation of the tendon sheath and tendons in the area of the carpal tunnel.

Treatment is aimed at reducing the inflammation of the tendon sheath and median nerve. Injectable steroids can sometimes relieve the swelling thus relieve the pain. In more severe cases, surgical excision of the edematous tissues surrounding the median nerve brings relief.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder occurring in wrists which causes pain and interferes with use of hands. It is perhaps the most common of the group of disorders called repetitive strain injuries, which are caused by performing a similar activity, over-straining a particular part of the body, over and over again.

In carpal tunnel syndrome, a canal, known as carpal tunnel, formed by the bones and ligaments in the wrist, through which the median nerve passes, narrows down due to various reasons. This creates pressure on median nerve, causing pain and interfering with work of the hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome may result from a variety of reasons other than repetitive work. These include injuries such as wrist fracture, arthritis complicated by swelling of tendons in the carpal tunnel, thickening of membrane around tendons during pregnancy.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include pain and numbness in the fingers of the hands affected, weakness of hand muscles. Such weakness of the hand muscles may be apparent in increased tendency to drop objects held in hand.

Carpal tunnel disorder is usually treated by improving the underlying condition. Splint may be applied to the wrist to restrict movement of the wrist to aid in healing. Anti-inflammatory medications may be used to reduce swelling of tendons. In extreme cases it may be necessary to perform surgery to relieve pain and prevent permanent damage.