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Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Its Effects

wrist pain from carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is more than just a fleeting discomfort—it’s a persistent condition that can disrupt the rhythm of daily life and diminish its quality. Manifesting as hand numbness, pain, and a myriad of other symptoms, CTS is a silent thief of comfort and productivity.

In this blog post, we dive deep into the world of CTS, shedding light on its causes, the ways it can affect your day-to-day, and most importantly, the steps you can take to reclaim your well-being.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a common disorder that affects the hand and wrist. It typically develops when there is compression of the median nerve, which travels through a narrow passageway in the palm side of your wrist called the carpal tunnel. This compression can lead to a range of symptoms, most notably hand numbness, tingling sensations, and pain, which can worsen over time.¹

The condition often manifests itself through difficulty in performing fine motor tasks and can escalate to persistent discomfort that disrupts sleep and daily activities, significantly impacting an individual’s quality of life.²

Causes and Risk Factors for Developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Male carpenter using drill machine on wooden cabin

Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist. The condition may be influenced by anatomical factors, such as a narrower carpal tunnel or wrist structure that predisposes individuals to nerve compression. Genetic factors can also play a role, making some people more likely to develop CTS than others.³

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) affects an estimated 13 million people1 in the United States (U.S.) and the number is growing.

CTS affects 13 million people

The Drawbacks of Living with Untreated CTS

Occupational risks are significant contributors to CTS, especially for jobs that involve repetitive hand movements, prolonged wrist flexion, or exposure to vibratory tools. Activities that require forceful gripping can also exacerbate the condition.5

Additionally, certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, high body mass index, and lack of physical activity, may increase the risk. Comorbidities like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid gland imbalance are known to contribute to the development of CTS6, indicating a complex interplay of systemic health issues and localized wrist strain.

Senior female patient exercising hand and female doctor advising

Left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can result in a range of consequences that affect an individual’s daily routine and overall well-being. Symptoms such as hand numbness and tingling can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and daytime drowsiness. This can escalate to a loss of coordination in the fingers, making it difficult to perform simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt or gripping objects.³

If CTS is not addressed, the pressure on the median nerve can result in permanent nerve damage, leading to chronic pain and potentially irreversible loss of hand function.7

Traditional Approaches to Managing CTS

Sonex Traditional CTS Management Approaches
Sonex Traditional CTS Management Approaches

Traditional approaches to managing CTS often begin conservatively, with non-surgical methods aimed at reducing inflammation and pressure within the carpal tunnel.

Hand exercises and splinting, particularly at night to prevent the wrist from bending and to alleviate numbness and tingling, is a frequently recommended initial treatment.8

Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to manage pain, while corticosteroid injections can provide temporary relief from symptoms by reducing swelling around the median nerve.9

For cases where conservative treatments prove ineffective, traditional surgical carpal tunnel release (CTR) may be considered. This surgery involves cutting the transverse carpal ligament to enlarge the carpal tunnel and relieve pressure on the median nerve. While this procedure can be quite effective, it typically requires a significant recovery period. Patients often face post-surgical discomfort, potential complications, and sometimes a lengthy rehabilitation process, which can include physical therapy to regain full hand function and strength.10

Carpal Tunnel Release Using Real-Time Ultrasound Guidance: A Minimally Invasive Option for Patients Seeking Relief

Carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance offers a compelling alternative to traditional CTR procedures by minimizing tissue trauma and reducing the risk of complications. Patients benefit from a less invasive approach that promotes a quicker and more comfortable recovery process.11,12  

This technique reflects a strong dedication to advancing medical treatments and providing relief to those who suffer from carpal tunnel symptoms.

Patients opting for carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance benefit from a less invasive technique that can be performed using only local anesthesia in a procedure room or office setting. Patients can often return to activities and work sooner.11,12  

The precision of the ultrasound-guided technique means less tissue disruption for the surrounding structures of the hand and wrist, fostering a more comfortable post-operative experience.13 

Testimonials from patients who have undergone the technique consistently highlight the ease of recovery and the quick resumption of normal activities, illustrating the patient-centered design of this innovative treatment.

How to Seek Treatment and Consultations for CTS

It is essential for patients to be proactive in discussing their symptoms and concerns with their healthcare provider. Questions about the severity of CTS, potential treatments, and their effectiveness should be posed. Patients can inquire about carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance, specifically about its minimally invasive nature and how it compares to traditional surgical methods. They should also seek information on what to expect during the recovery period and the likelihood of needing post-operative therapy.

For more information on the carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance, individuals can visit curemycarpaltunnel.com. There, they can find detailed resources, FAQ’s, contact information, and opportunities to learn more about how this technique can benefit patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Ready to Return to the Activities You Love?

Senior hispanic man playing guitar singing and laughing.

As we navigate the challenges of carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s clear that proactive measures and innovative technologies can significantly alter the treatment landscape.

By choosing a minimally invasive approach, you can avoid the extended downtimes and potential complications associated with traditional surgery and gain peace of mind knowing this technique can alleviate symptoms associated with CTS and help you reclaim your former lifestyle sooner.

Let’s take the next step together in managing hand numbness and pain effectively with an alternative to traditional CTS treatments.

If you would like to know if your symptoms may be related to CTS, take our free screening and experience firsthand the difference that carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance can make in relieving carpal tunnel symptoms.

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Reference List

  1.     Padua L, et al. Carpal tunnel syndrome: clinical features, diagnosis, and management. The Lancet Neurology. 2016;15(12):1273-1284. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(16)30231-9.
  2.     Atroshi I, et al. Symptoms, disability, and quality of life in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 1999;24(2):398-404. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0363-5023(99)70014-6
  3.     Genova A, et al. Carpal tunnel syndrome: a review of literature. Cureus. 2020;12(3):e7333. doi: 10.7759/cureus.7333
  4.     Papanicolaou GD, et al. The prevalence and characteristics of nerve compression syndromes in the general population. The Journal of Hand Surgery. 2001;26A:460-6.
  5.     Palmer KT. Carpal tunnel syndrome: the role of occupational factors. Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2011;25(1):15-29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.berh.2011.01.014
  6.     Solomon DH, et al. Nonoccupational risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 1999;14:310-314. doi: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1525-1497.1999.00340.x
  7.     Padua L, et al. Multiperspective follow up of untreated carpal tunnel syndrome: a multicenter study. Neurology. 2001;56(11):1459-1466. doi: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.56.11.1459
  8.     Carpal tunnel syndrome: a summary of clinical practice and guideline recommendations. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2019;49(5):359-360. doi: https://www.jospt.org/doi/10.2519/jospt.2019.0501
  9.     Piazzini DB, et al. A systematic review of conservative treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2007;21(4):299-314. doi: 10.1177/0269215507077294
  10. Miller LE, et al. Determinants of return to activity and work after carpal tunnel release: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2023;20:417–425. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17434440.2023.2195549
  11. Paterson PD, et al. Early return to work after carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2024;12(2):pe5647. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000005647
  12. Pistorio AL, Marwin VM, Paterson PD, Alexander RD, Nelson JT, Miller LM.  Office-Based Carpal Tunnel Release with Ultrasound Guidance: 6-month Outcomes from the Multicenter ROBUST Trial. J Hand Surg Glob Online. 2024: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhsg.2023.12.005
  13. Eberlin KR, Amis BP, et al. Multicenter randomized trial of carpal tunnel release with ultrasound guidance versus mini-open technique. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2023;20(7):597-605. doi: 10/1080/17434440.2023.2218548

Carpal tunnel release under real-time ultrasound guidance using UltraGuideCTR™ is intended to transect the transverse carpal ligament for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Many patients benefit from this technique, but results may vary. Talk to your doctor to see if this treatment option is right for you. For full safety information, please visit our Instructions for Use and Safety Information Page.

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