Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common hand conditions treated by Beaumont orthopedic surgeons.
Carpal tunnel syndrome results from pressure on the median nerve, a nerve that supplies sensation to the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. It also "innervates" (stimulates) many of the muscles that control thumb movement. This nerve runs through the arm and at the level of the wrist, travels through the "carpal canal" or "carpal tunnel" with the nine tendons that enable you to bend your fingers. The walls of this tunnel are formed by wrist bones, but the roof of the tunnel - or bridge over the canal - is a ligament. Anything that makes this ligament thicker or tighter or fills up the canal more than normal will cause pressure on the nerve. Carpal tunnel symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or even pain in the fingers, hand, and sometimes forearm.
Although a carpal tunnel diagnosis is more common with certain conditions including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, and pregnancy, most CTS is "idiopathic," meaning that the cause is unknown. Women are more likely to develop CTS than men; the reason for this is as yet unknown.
Beaumont orthopedic hand surgeons offer carpal tunnel treatment options that may include either non-operative intervention or surgery.
Learn about the ways to prevent carpal tunnel when texting, typing or playing video games.