Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a hand and arm condition that causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms, often with prolonged gripping and/or an upright posture of the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist, or in your shoulder.

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome

A number of factors can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, including the anatomy of your wrist, certain underlying health problems and possibly patterns of hand use. Bound by bones and ligaments, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway located on the palm side of your wrist. This tunnel protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Compression of the nerve produces the numbness, tingling and, eventually, hand weakness that characterize carpal tunnel syndrome.

Fortunately, for most people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome, proper treatment usually can relieve the tingling and numbness and restore wrist and hand function.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment Options

Care for carpal tunnel syndrome can range from: rehabilitation, wearing a splint or brace to rest the wrist, steroid injections into the carpal canal to decrease swelling, and when non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful surgery may be required.

Generally a combination of treatments are attempted prior to surgery as the outcomes of any procedure depend on how long the condition has existed and how much damage has been done to the nerve. For that reason, it's a good idea to see a doctor early if you think you may have carpal tunnel syndrome.

Orthopaedic Rehab

As one of the most extensive programs at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, our primary focus is to help patients build strength, mobility and endurance for a variety of orthopaedic conditions.

Physical Therapy

Each inpatient and outpatient physical therapy rehab is individually designed and administered by a licensed physical therapist who consistently guides you from that first visit all the way through recovery.

Non-Surgical Orthopaedic Treatments

Some orthopaedic conditions are first treated with non-surgical procedures followed by surgery as the next step.

Orthopaedic Surgery

Carpal Tunnel Release

If nonsurgical methods fail to relieve pain, pins and needles, or numbness caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may recommend carpal tunnel release.

Wrist Joint Replacement

The procedure involves surgical removal of damaged bones and replacement with artificial (prosthetic) wrist parts made of plastic and metal, which restore movement to the wrist and can help relieve pain.


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