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Published on August 02, 2022

Caring for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Caring for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

According to Kevin Kuzma, MD, a Greensboro orthopedic surgeon and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental staff, a common cause of finger numbness is carpal tunnel syndrome.

When the median nerve is compressed in your wrist, you may experience a tingling feeling in your thumb and index fingers. Often, carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain in your dominant hand first, and you may have trouble grasping everyday objects.

“While carpal tunnel syndrome can affect anyone, it is more common in middle age or older,” shares Dr. Kuzma. “People with diabetes or thyroid issues or who are pregnant can be more at risk.”

While many associate the condition with repetitive motion, pushing a mower, using a weed trimmer or operating a jackhammer can really aggravate symptoms.

“If you are experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome, avoid vibrating tools and consider wearing a wrist splint at night,” affirms Dr. Kuzma. “While taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may offer temporary relief, consult with your provider, especially if you are taking other medications or have additional health issues.”

When you begin to have trouble with daily activities or your sleep is disrupted, it’s time to make an appointment with an orthopedist for an evaluation. While you can expect a physical examination, X-rays or a nerve conduction study may be needed to pinpoint the treatment area. Treatments can include a splint, steroid injection or a surgical procedure.

“If you require carpal tunnel surgery, expect your stitches to heal in about two weeks,” says Dr. Kuzma. “In about a month or so, most can lift and flex and return to daily activities.”