Carpal Tunnel Specialist

Pacifica Orthopedics

Orthopedic Specialists located in Huntington Beach, CA

Everyone can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, but women are three times more likely than men to develop the classic pain and tingling in their hands and fingers. Emile Wakim, MD, and the providers at Pacifica Orthopedics encourage you to get early treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome to prevent the condition from worsening. To learn more about carpal tunnel or to schedule an appointment, call the office in Huntington Beach, California, or book an appointment online.

Carpal Tunnel

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

One of the nerves that serves your hand and fingers, the median nerve, travels through your wrist using a small channel called the carpal tunnel. Several tendons also make their way to your fingers by traveling through the same tunnel.

When anything reduces the space inside the carpal tunnel, pressure is placed on the nerve, causing a condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.

A variety of problems can cause carpal tunnel, including:

Repetitive use

Inflammation develops in the tendons when you repeatedly perform the same movement, such as keyboarding.

Flexing the wrist

When you flex your wrist, the movement increases pressure on the median nerve. Prolonged flexion may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Wrist injuries

Any injury can lead to inflamed tendons or directly damage the nerve.

Health conditions

Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can narrow the carpal tunnel. Diabetes may also increase your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.

Changes in hormones

Thyroid disorders and hormone fluctuations due to pregnancy and menopause may contribute to carpal tunnel.

What symptoms will I develop due to carpal tunnel syndrome?

You may not be aware of symptoms at first because carpal tunnel syndrome develops gradually. Eventually, you’ll experience:

  • Wrist pain
  • Weakness in your hand
  • Numbness and tingling in your fingers or hand
  • Pain that radiates from your wrist to your fingers
  • Fingers feel like they’re swollen (when they’re not)

Your thumb, index finger, and middle finger are most likely to be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.

How do orthopedic doctors treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

Depending on the severity of your carpal tunnel syndrome, Dr. Wakim and Dr. Ahearn may recommend one or more of the following:

  • Immobilizing your wrist
  • Modifying your activities
  • Taking NSAIDs to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Receiving steroid injections to reduce inflammation
  • Performing nerve-gliding exercises

If conservative therapies fail to relieve your symptoms, Dr. Ahearn or Dr. Wakim may suggest carpal tunnel release surgery to remove pressure on the nerve.

Dr. Wakim often uses an endoscopic procedure when performing carpal tunnel surgery. The endoscope is a thin tube with a camera that’s guided through a small incision.

The surgery is performed using tiny tools that may go through the same tube as the endoscope or be inserted through a second small incision.

As soon as you notice signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, call Pacifica Orthopedics or book an appointment online.