Do You Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Are you living in the New Jersey area and are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? You may already know this occurs when the median nerve at the wrist is compressed by swelling or a tight ligament. We test for the disorder doing electrodiagnostic studies and diagnostic ultrasound and treat it with Generation IV laser or injection therapies. Severe cases require surgery.
Median Nerve Dysfunction; Median Nerve Entrapment
The carpal tunnel is a narrow region of bone and ligament at the wrist and base of the hand. The median nerve and tendons pass through this region. The carpal tunnel can become narrow when thickening of the tendons and ligaments occurs secondary to irritation. Narrowing of the carpal tunnel can also occur with swelling. Any type of narrowing of this region can cause the median nerve to be compressed, resulting in pain, weakness, or numbness in the hand and wrist.
Potential Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is common in people who perform tasks requiring repetitive motion of the hand, wrist or fingers such as typing on a computer keyboard. However, carpal tunnel syndrome is most often the result of a combination of factors such as congenital narrowing, other medical conditions such as Obesity, Menopause, Alcoholism and Rheumatoid Arthritis and mechanical joint problems that increase pressure on the wrist and hand. Patients with diabetes or other metabolic disorders that affect the nervous system are more susceptible to the compression of the median nerve. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually occurs only in adults. It has been suspected that activities such as typing, writing, using tools that vibrate, painting and other repetitive task can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Women are three times more likely than men to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, which could be related to the smaller diameter of the carpal tunnel in women. It is more common for the dominant hand to be the first hand to experience these symptoms, which could be associated with the fact that you tend to use your dominant hand the most. The symptoms usually start slow and gradual with some intermittent tingling or numbness into the palm of the hand and fingers, especially the thumb and index finger. These symptom usually start to become more frequent and severe over time. Decreased strength and persistent numbness with difficulty grasping and holding small objects is a more advanced stage of this condition. These symptoms could affect one or both hands.
Diagnosing the Cause
The most important part of caring for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome is an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Magaziner uses his years of clinical experience, thorough examination and diagnostic procedures including: Electrodiagnostic studies such as Electromyography or EMG.
Dr. Magaziner’s philosophy is to start with the more conservative treatments (less invasive) first such as rest, medication, bracing, ergonomic changes, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and laser therapy. If the condition does not respond to conservative care some possible treatments include: joint injections, prolotherapy, PRP and nerve blocks. As a last resort surgery may be necessary. Dr Magaziner performs a carpal tunnel release of the nerve thru an ultrasound guided approach where no skin cutting is needed and therefore no unsightly scar.