Southwest Hand and Microsurgery
Robert Kwon, MD
Hand Surgeon located in Plano, TX
Carpal tunnel syndrome affects approximately 10% of Americans, but you don’t have to live with the pain and numbness it causes. Robert K. Kwon, MD is a double board-certified hand surgeon offering solutions for carpal tunnel at Southwest Hand and Microsurgery in Plano and Dallas, Texas. To find treatment for your carpal tunnel symptoms, call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.
Carpal Tunnel Q & A
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in your wrist. The median nerve communicates muscle movement and sensations to your hand and fingers.
Your median nerve runs from your upper arm through your forearm and into your hand. As it passes through your wrist, your median nerve goes through a collection of bones, ligaments, and tendons called the carpal tunnel. When tissues and tendons in the carpal tunnel swell, they leave less room and begin to squeeze your median nerve. This constriction interferes with the ability of your fingers and hands to function properly.
Several factors can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Joint dislocation or fractures
- Fluid retention from hormone changes
- Medical conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes
Anyone can develop carpal tunnel, but it’s more common in women.
What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel?
Carpal tunnel symptoms typically affect the thumb, index, middle, and half of your ring finger. These symptoms often include:
- Pain, numbness, and tingling
- Difficulty grasping items
- Frequently dropping things
- Weakness or clumsiness in the thumb
In some cases, carpal tunnel symptoms worsen during certain activities, in cold temperatures, or in the evening.
How is carpal tunnel diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Kwon diagnoses carpal tunnel during a physical examination. During this appointment, he reviews your medical history, discusses your symptoms, and talks about your physical activities. In some cases, Dr. Kwon might perform tests that check your median nerve for constraint.
Additional carpal tunnel screenings might include:
- X-rays to identify underlying conditions like fractures or arthritis
- Nerve conduction studies to measure median nerve function and areas of compression
- Electromyography (EMG) to locate poor nerve input
Based on your condition, Dr. Kwon might recommend conservative treatments like splints to relieve pressure on your median nerve or anti-inflammatory injections to treat your symptoms.
When carpal tunnel doesn’t respond to traditional therapies, Dr. Kwon may suggest surgery to provide relief. Surgical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome involve enlarging the carpal tunnel. There are various methods for performing this type of procedure, but they all relieve pressure on your median nerve.
If you’re suffering from symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, call Southwest Hand and Microsurgery or schedule an appointment online today.