Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a neurological disorder when the median nerve is pressed or squeezed at the wrist. Early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness, particularly at night, a feeling the fingers are useless or swollen and/or a tingling sensation or pain in the fingers.

As carpal tunnel syndrome progresses, symptoms may worsen, which may cause:

  • Tingling during the day, especially with certain activities, such as driving
  • Mild to severe pain that sometimes worsens at night
  • Some loss of movement in the hand
  • Hand weakness that makes it difficult to grasp small objects or perform other manual tasks

Doctors usually recommend nonsurgical options as part of carpal tunnel syndrome treatments, such as anti-inflammatory or shots of corticosteroid medicine, rehabilitation and wrist splints combined with workplace changes to improve seating and usage of computers or other equipment. If these treatments fail to help with the symptoms or only provide temporary relief, your doctor may order an electromyogram or EMG to test the electrical activity of your median nerve and confirm if you are a candidate for carpal tunnel surgery (also known as carpal tunnel release surgery).