There are three major nerves in the hand responsible of working the muscles and providing sensation. The largest one is the Median nerve. The median nerve enters the hand through which is the passageway on the palmar side of the wrist that connects the forearm to the middle compartment of the deep plane of the palm. “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome” occurs when the median nerve is compressed in this tunnel. Compression of the nerve in this tunnel is caused by either increased pressure in the tunnel or narrowed tunnel.
It commonly occurs in those who constantly use their one hand. Prolonged use of a keyboard may lead to thickening of hand tendons and associated compression on the nerve. It most frequently appears in those who are engaged in music particularly playing the piano and stringed instruments. Other diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidis, obesity, and gout can also contribute to this syndrome. It is common in pregnancy.
The initial symptoms include weakness of the hand, quick tiredness, and tingling of your fingers especially your thumb, index and middle fingers. The pain aggravates and numbness of the fingers occurs in time. The pain and sensation of numbness are usually more severe at night. Myolysis and associated weakness of the thumb may occur in progressed cases.
Diagnosis is made by Electromyography (EMG) ordered by your doctor. The first line therapy is restriction of wrist movements and initiation of anti-inflammatory drugs. Various physical therapies and injection of corticosteroids will be useful for patients in the early period. The definitive treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome is surgically relaxation of carpal tunnel. You should remember that irreversible damages to the nerve may occur when the compression on the nerve remains for a long time. You should not wait until the disease is progressed for treatment. Only your arm will be anaesthetized for surgery and you can go home on the same day.