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Injury Definitions

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common source of hand numbness and pain. It is caused by increased pressure on a nerve entering the hand through the confined space of the carpal tunnel. The physician may make the diagnosis simply by discussing the symptoms and examining the patient. Electrical testing of the nerve function is often performed to help confirm the diagnosis. Carpal tunnel syndrome becomes more common as we grow older and seems to affect people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid conditions and rheumatoid arthritis more frequently. Trauma or injury to the wrist that causes swelling, such as a sprain or a fracture, can cause the syndrome. Repeated motions using the wrist can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. It is more common in women than men and affects up to 10 percent of the population. Treatment often begins with a brace or splint worn at night to keep the wrist in a natural position. Simple medications such as Tylenol® or Advil® can help decrease pain. Changing patterns of hand use to avoid aggravating positions and activities may be helpful. Surgery can also be effective in diminishing symptoms. Risks of the surgery include bleeding, infection and nerve injury. Some pain, swelling and stiffness are expected, but severe problems are rare.

For related information go to: Broken Bones, Insurance Bad Faith, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Negligence Law, Nerve Injuries, Pain and  Premises Liability

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