Carpal Tunnel

Eggleston Orthopedics

Steven D. Eggleston , M.D.

Orthopedic Surgeon located in Lake Jackson, TX

Women have three-times the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome compared to men because their smaller wrists are more likely to pinch the nerve. Dr. Steven D. Eggleston encourages everyone to get help at the first sign of symptoms to avoid complications like nerve damage. Treatment begins with conservative therapies, but should you need surgery, Dr. Eggleston is currently the only doctor in the area repairing carpal tunnel using a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. To schedule an appointment, call Eggleston Orthopedics in Lake Jackson, Texas, or book an appointment online.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is pinched as it travels through your wrist. The median nerves go down each arm and into your hands, passing through a rigid, narrow space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel.

Numerous tendons also run through the carpal tunnel. When these soft tissues become inflamed or you suffer a wrist injury, the nerve becomes compressed inside the passageway. That’s when you have carpal tunnel syndrome.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

You may inherit a smaller-than-normal wrist that’s more vulnerable to developing carpal tunnel. However, it’s usually caused by:

Repetitive use

When you repeatedly perform the same hand and finger movements, the tendons in the tunnel become inflamed.

Hand and wrist position

Over-extending or flexing your wrist places unusual pressure on the nerve. Engaging in activities that cause wrist extension or flexion for prolonged periods of time leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wrist injuries

Any type of wrist injury can cause inflammation of the soft tissues in the carpal tunnel.

Health conditions

Arthritis in your wrist and diabetes are two conditions known to cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

Hormonal changes

Thyroid disorders and hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause may raise your risk for carpal tunnel.

What symptoms develop due to carpal tunnel?

Since carpal tunnel syndrome usually develops gradually, its symptoms are mild at the start. Symptoms progressively worsen when the condition goes untreated and may include:

  • Wrist pain
  • Hand weakness
  • Numbness, tingling, or electric-shock sensations
  • Dropping things due to weakness or numbness
  • Sensation that your fingers are swollen (when they’re not)

Tingling, numbness, and electric-shock sensations may radiate from the wrist and affect your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Without treatment, the nerve can become permanently damaged and muscle deterioration may occur.

How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?

At an early stage, carpal tunnel syndrome responds well to treatments such as:

  • Immobilizing the wrist
  • Modifying your activities
  • Adjusting ergonomics to avoid wrist flexion and extension
  • Taking NSAIDs to relieve inflammation and pain
  • Receiving steroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Practicing nerve gliding exercises

When your symptoms don’t improve, or you have advanced carpal tunnel, Dr. Eggleston may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Although Dr. Eggleston has extensive experience performing open surgery, he’s the only doctor in the area currently performing minimally invasive endoscopic surgery to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.

When you start to notice an achy wrist or tingling, call Eggleston Orthopedics or book an appointment online.