Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) affects millions of people worldwide. CTS can range in severity depending on the stage of the condition. If untreated for too long, carpal tunnel syndrome usually worsens.
Why do my hands cramp and lock up?
What is severe carpal tunnel syndrome? Severe CTS is an advanced stage of CTS that occurs when the patient experiences extreme pain, numbness, and tingling in their hands and fingers. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with CTS, it is important to get in touch with a specialist who can assess your condition and diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome as soon as possible. We have clinics located in Chicago Il, Milwaukee WI, and Green Bay WI and we also offer virtual consultations for patients located outside these areas. Contact Ovation Hand Institute today.
What Causes Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome starts when increased pressure is exerted on the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel. At the onset, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are mild. People with mild symptoms may experience numbness and tingling, often at night. If left untreated, mild CTS progresses to moderate CTS, which can develop into severe CTS. Some of the risk factors for developing severe carpal tunnel syndrome include:
- Repetitive hand use
- Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome
- The presence of tumors in the carpal tunnel
- Underlying conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and obesity
What Are Moderate Stage Symptoms?
If the signs of mild CTS are not treated, the condition may worsen and progress to the moderate stage. At this point, mild CTS symptoms become more frequent and can interfere with daily activities, such as typing, writing, or driving. Here are some of the common symptoms of moderate carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Pins-and-needles sensation in the affected fingers
- Difficulty holding or gripping objects
- Pain or discomfort in the wrist or hand
- Frequent tingling or numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers
- Weakness in the hand, particularly in the thumb
Moderate carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed using the Tinel and Phalen tests. Once you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor or contact us for an evaluation. You do not need a referral for an evaluation.
Signs Of “Severe” Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If the symptoms of moderate-stage CTS are not treated, the condition progresses to the severe stage of CTS. Individuals with severe carpal tunnel syndrome experience symptoms at night and throughout the day. How do you know if your carpal tunnel is severe? Here are some of the signs of severe stage carpal tunnel syndrome:
- Constant tingling and numbness in the affected fingers and hand
- Atrophy; muscles at the base of the thumb waste away
- Loss of sensitivity to touch in the affected fingers and hand
- Sharp, shooting pains in the forearm, wrist, and hand
- Loss of coordination and a feeling of weakness in the affected hand
At this point, conservative treatments are ineffective, and surgery is required to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If you notice these symptoms, see a doctor or hand specialist immediately for a proper diagnosis and begin treatment immediately. Untreated carpal tunnel syndrome can result in permanent muscle loss, permanent numbness and tingling, and permanent nerve damage.
How Do You Treat “Severe” Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Treatment for severe carpal tunnel syndrome is surgery. Patients with severe carpal tunnel syndrome have typically tried and failed a wide range of non-surgical remedies such as stretching exercises, pain medicines, steroids, injections and physical/occupational therapy.
The surgical procedure for severe carpal tunnel syndrome is called carpal tunnel release. Specialists performing carpal tunnel release surgery most commonly use the “open” or “endoscopic” technique to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Open carpal tunnel release surgery involves more hand trauma and requires more recovery time, whereas the endoscopic technique is less invasive but still not the least invasive option.
Find Relief for Severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with Ovation Hand Institute
Ovation Hand Institute offers a revolutionary solution that treats carpal tunnel syndrome and allows you to get back to your life quickly. Our ultra-minimally invasive procedure costs less, is less invasive, and results in a shorter recovery time. Are you considering surgery for severe carpal tunnel syndrome? Need more information? Contact us at Ovation to book a consultation today.
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