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Could My Wrist Pain Be Carpal Tunnel? Your Houston Ortho FAQ

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects approximately four to ten million people in the United States. In Houston, a city where so many people work high-impact jobs that take a toll on the wrist and hands, carpal tunnel is a significant health problem. If you’re suffering from wrist pain, keep reading to learn more about carpal tunnel in Houston. If you’re not sure what’s causing your wrist pain, take this free online assessment, and someone from our midtown/downtown Houston orthopedics practice will contact you.

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

The carpal tunnel is a sheath that encapsulates the median nerve; this nerve runs the entire length of the arm, from the hand to the shoulder. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when this sheath (the carpal tunnel) becomes compressed, pinching the median nerve.

What causes CTS?

Median nerve entrapment may be caused by any number of things. Oftentimes, repetitive tasks are the culprit. Most people associate computer keyboard usage with CTS. And, while typing may cause some cases, other repetitive motions are just as much to blame – if not more. Having a job with excessive wrist impact, such as meat-packing or housekeeping, can put you at higher risk.

How do I know if I have carpal tunnel?

The only way to know for sure is to have your hand evaluated by a physician. We evaluate patients for a variety of hand/wrist symptoms at our midtown and downtown Houston orthopedics practices. During an evaluation, we may evaluate your hand and ask about your symptoms. There are two brief, noninvasive physical exams that many physicians use to test for CTS: Tinel’s Sign and Phalen’s Maneuver. Some patients may have an x-ray or other imaging test done to ensure the pain isn’t from another cause.

What treatments are available for carpal tunnel syndrome?

Pain relief is possible when pressure on the median nerve is relieved. For many patients, carpal tunnel release surgery is the only way to get relief. Some patients may experience short-term relief through steroid injections, nighttime splinting and other therapies.

Carpal Tunnel In Houston? Schedule An Evaluation.

If your hand or wrist pain is interfering with your sleep, work or quality of life, schedule an appointment for an evaluation at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics. We see patients with carpal tunnel at our midtown and downtown Houston orthopedics locations on a regular basis. Call (713) 756-5546, or schedule your appointment online.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.