If you have already received a diagnosis for carpal tunnel syndrome or contemplate that you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, visiting an orthopedic doctor would be your best bet. An orthopedic doctor is specialized in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Let’s find out what you can expect from an orthopedic doctor who treats carpal tunnel syndrome and where you can go throughout Maryland for outstanding orthopedic care.
Orthopedic Doctor Will Make a Diagnosis
Your orthopedic doctor will perform a physical examination, review your medical history, ask about your symptoms and activities to ascertain that you have carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Additionally, your orthopedic doctor will perform a couple of simple tests, including Phalen’s test, test for the Tinel’s Sign, nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test, electromyography (EMG) test and some lab tests to determine if there is pressure on your median nerve (compression of median nerve indicates CTS).
Orthopedic Doctor Will Recommend Treatment for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
You might have tried some at-home tips, such as giving your hands a short break or applying cold packs, to manage carpal tunnel symptoms. Besides these at-home remedies, your orthopedic doctor might recommend some surgical and non-surgical treatment options. Let’s find out what these are.
Following non-surgical treatments can relieve symptoms when CTS is diagnosed earlier.
- Wearing a Wrist Splint –relieves nighttime symptoms by holding the wrist still. A wrist splint can also be used to prevent CTS symptoms from impeding your activities during the daytime. Wrist splints are helpful, especially if you are pregnant and don’t want to take medications.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) –can be used for short-term relief from CTS symptoms.
- Steroid Shots –can relieve pain, which otherwise is not responding to NSAIDs. An orthopedic doctor might inject corticosteroids under the guidance of ultrasound to decrease inflammation and swelling, which relieves pressure on the compressed median nerve.
Surgery is recommended when medication is not the route you want to take or non-surgical treatment has failed to provide you with long-term relief. Surgeries are mostly performed in outpatient settings to reduce the pressure on the median nerve.
- Endoscopic Release Surgery. After making a small opening below the crease of your wrist, your doctor will use an endoscope (a long thin tube with a tiny camera) to look inside the carpel tunnel. An orthopedic doctor will make a second incision in the palm of the hand and place a tube (cannula) along the side of the median nerve. A surgical instrument is inserted through this cannula, which makes an incision in the transverse carpal ligament. This surgery releases pressure on the median nerves and results in less pain.
- Open Release Surgery. After numbing your hand and wrist, the doctor will make an incision in the palm of your hand to access the transverse carpal ligament. This ligament, also called the roof of the carpal tunnel, is incised to open the tunnel and make the tunnel larger, which eventually releases pressure on the median nerve. This whole procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment in Maryland
If symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are affecting your daily activities and you seek a lasting solution, visit our orthopedic doctors at Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder. Our expert hand doctor takes delight in providing our patients high-quality care to treat their medical concerns related to the hand or upper extremities.
To get the best orthopedic care from board-certified and fellowship doctors, call us today at (410) 296 – 6232, or schedule an appointment by requesting an appointment online.