Carpal Tunnel

Mend Clinic | Orthopedic Urgent Care in Salem, Oregon

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) might be a household phrase, but few people know what it entails. It presents as a tingle, numbness, and/or weakness in the hand. CTS happens when there’s pressure on the median nerve, located in the wrist. Usually, the pressure is repetitive and ongoing, which is why so many office workers who use a computer regularly suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and why it’s a common hand and wrist injury treated at Mend Clinic. Learn more about types of orthopedic injuries we treat, read reviews, and see why patients choose Mend Clinic as their ER alternative in Salem, Oregon. Book your appointment online, walk-in, or call (971) 204-8410.

What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve relies on a bundle of tendons in the arm/wrist/hand. Tendons are a connective tissue that link muscle to bone. This nerve travels throughout the hand and forearm. However, getting between these two parts of the body requires navigating tough terrain. The wrist passage has an opening that mimics a tunnel—thus the aptly named “carpal tunnel.”

The median nerve is what allows feeling and movement of the thumb and first two fingers. Another nerve manages the ring finger and pinky. Although pressure from typing away at a computer is a common cause, carpal tunnel syndrome can also be brought on by numerous factors:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can cause swelling and pressure in the wrist
  • Any repetitive hand/wrist movement can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, including some sports like ping pong
  • Pregnancy, and the related swelling, can cause carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mend Clinic, Salem, Oregon

Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Next Steps in Treating Carpal Tunnel

Sometimes, carpal tunnel syndrome can be the source of a workers’ compensation claim. If you’re planning to file a claim, inform your orthopedic doctor and care team. They will need to supply a form as part of your claim.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome depends on severity. There are three major types of treatment beyond rest:

  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery: In this surgery, the transverse carpal ligament is lacerated. The cut relieves median nerve pressure as well as CTS symptoms. The surgery is minor, requiring tiny incisions in the palm.
  • Open carpal tunnel surgery: This surgery is similar to the endoscopic tunnel release surgery, with differences in the location of the access points as well as procedures followed. It’s considered the “classic” CTS surgery.
  • Steroid injections: A less invasive procedure, corticosteroid injections are sometimes effective in treating moderate CTS.

Which is better, endoscopic or open surgery if your orthopedic specialist recommends this route? It depends on the patient, and it’s a decision that will be discussed with you. Endoscopic is newer, and benefits may include a faster return to work, quicker functional recovery, and less tenderness and short-term pain. However, the operation itself is longer, there’s a higher risk of nerve injury, and it can also be costlier.

Are you suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome? Book an appointment online and get on the path to relief with Mend Clinic.

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