Carpal tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome causes numbness and usually weakness of the fingers, especially the thumb, index, and middle fingers, due to compression from the nerve passing through the wrist. There is often a feeling of swelling, but none is present. It can slowly progress from mild and intermittent to permanent nerve and muscle damage if not treated. Other problems that can mimic carpal tunnel are arthritis, tendonitis, and other nerve problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome is more common with pregnancy, obesity, thyroid disease, diabetes, wrist fractures, middle-aged to older people, females, and possibly repetitive hand activities. The physician may be able to reproduce the pains on examination. A nerve conduction test may be needed. NSAIDs, splinting at night, occupational therapy, cortisone injections, and control of underlying diseases like hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis may be able to prevent needing surgery to open the carpal tunnel to relieve pressure on the Median nerve.