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Patient information.

From the Office of DR.

* WHAT IS CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is felt as pain, tingling, a burning sensation, or loss of sensation that occurs throughout all or part of the hand. These symptoms may be worse at night and can wake you from sleep. You may feel the pain in just the hand, or it may travel up the arm.

* HOW IT'S DIAGNOSED

Carpal tunnel syndrome can be challenging to diagnose.

Your doctor will ask you to describe your symptoms and may ask you to perform specific motions with your hand or wrist to see how they affect your symptoms.

Your doctor may arrange for a nerve conduction study--a test to determine how well the nerves in your hand are working. The test can detect if the pressure on the nerve is enough to affect how well it works.

* HOW IT'S TREATED

Your doctor may ask you to wear wrist splints at night or during work, and may advise you to reduce those activities that make the problem worse. Steroid injections into the carpal tunnel may also help.

If such conservative treatment does not help, your doctor may talk to you about a simple surgical procedure to relieve pressure on the nerve. The surgeon cuts the ligament over the carpal tunnel, which releases the pressure on the nerve. This surgery works well to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Article Details
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Publication:Journal of Family Practice
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:235
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