Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel services offered in Hinsdale, IL

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist condition affecting 3-6% of adults. Carpal tunnel can be painful, but treatment prevents it from worsening. At DuPage Spine and Orthopaedics in Hinsdale, Illinois, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Kevin Koutsky, MD, and the team specialize in noninvasive and minimally invasive carpal tunnel treatment. Call DuPage Spine and Orthopaedics today to schedule an appointment, or book your visit online. 

Carpal Tunnel Q&A

Does carpal tunnel cause intense hand and wrist pain?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful overuse injury that places excessive pressure on the median nerve.

Your median nerve runs through a narrow canal in your wrist called the carpal tunnel. Daily activities, like using hand tools or a keyboard, or general wear-and-tear can cause your carpal tunnel to become swollen and inflamed, compressing your median nerve. 

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:

  • Tingling and pain in the fingers
  • Decreased feeling in the fingertips
  • Difficulty handling objects, like tools or a computer mouse
  • Hand weakness
  • Dropping objects
  • Inability to perform routine tasks (like buttoning your shirt or holding a book)

Most people develop carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive motions at work. Similar conditions, like cubital and radial tunnel syndrome, cause pain that extends into your elbows.

How does an orthopaedic surgeon diagnose carpal tunnel?

Dr. Koutsky reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including where the pain occurs, what it feels like, and whether it’s worse during certain activities, like typing or using a computer mouse.

Next, he completes several screens, including:

Tinel’s test

Dr. Koutsky gently taps your wrist over your median nerve to see if it causes tingling or numbness in your fingers.

Wrist flexion test (Phalen’s test)

With this test, you press the backs of your hands together while keeping your forearms parallel to the floor. If you have carpal tunnel syndrome, this movement causes pain or tingling in your hands and fingers. 

Dr. Koutsky orders X-rays if he suspects your symptoms are due to another medical condition, like arthritis or a wrist fracture.

How does an orthopaedic surgeon treat carpal tunnel syndrome?

At DuPage Spine and Orthopaedics, Dr. Koutsky and the team treat carpal tunnel using a conservative, minimally invasive approach. They might suggest:

  • Wearing a wrist splint at night
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Making your office more ergonomic
  • Changing your hand and wrist position while working or exercising
  • Working with a hand therapist

These treatments typically provide lasting relief. But if your symptoms continue or worsen, you might benefit from orthopaedic surgery. 

During carpal tunnel surgery, Dr. Koutsky increases the size of your carpal tunnel. That decreases pressure on the nerves and tendons in your wrist, reducing pain and numbness. 

Call DuPage Spine and Orthopaedics today to schedule a carpal tunnel appointment, or book your visit online.