Carpal Tunnel Specialist

Maryland Orthopedic Specialists

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Bethesda, MD & Germantown, MD

Carpal tunnel syndrome leads to agonizing and burning wrist pain, but you can find relief at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics: Maryland Orthopedic Specialists Division. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Peter Fitzgibbons, MD, has extensive training in wrist and carpal tunnel treatments, so you can feel confident that you’re in expert hands. Even if you’ve had a prior surgery or treatment that didn’t work, Dr. Fitzgibbons can help. To schedule your consultation, call the Bethesda or Germantown, Maryland, office or book online.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, is a common condition that occurs when your median nerve, which runs through your wrist, becomes compressed.

Your carpal tunnel is a tight canal that has nine tendons running through it in addition to the median nerve. The combination of a little bit of swelling of the tendons or the gradual tightening of the canal can put pressure on your median nerve. This is when you may start experiencing symptoms. You might have carpal tunnel syndrome if you have:

  • Numbness or tingling in your hand or wrist
  • Severe wrist or forearm pain
  • Difficulty gripping objects

If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can continue to get worse and possibly lead to permanent nerve damage, so the earlier you get a diagnosis and start treatment, the better.   

Why do I have carpal tunnel syndrome?

Contrary to popular belief, carpal tunnel syndrome is usually not caused by specific activities like typing, though people may notice the symptoms more during certain repetitive activities or when sleeping, driving, or reading. Some people are more prone to developing it than others and often there is no single cause identified. Common factors that contribute to carpal tunnel include:

  • Family history
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thyroid gland imbalance
  • Extreme flexion/extension of your wrist for long periods
  • Trauma

Your risk of carpal tunnel syndrome also increases if you have diabetes because you’re prone to nerve damage from elevated blood sugar levels. While carpal tunnel syndrome affects both men and women, it’s more common in women.

Which carpal tunnel treatments are best?

The best carpal tunnel treatment for you depends on the severity of your symptoms and what you’ve already tried. Dr. Fitzgibbons prefers to start with more conservative measures, such as bracing your wrist. Some carpal tunnel sufferers also benefit from temporary relief with cortisone injections.

Your diagnosis process might involve electromyography, or EMG testing. This short nerve evaluation lets Dr. Fitzgibbons know how your nerves are functioning, so he can determine the best treatment path for you.

If you need further treatment, Dr. Fitzgibbons may suggest carpal tunnel surgery. This minimally invasive procedure helps relieve the pressure on your nerve and often provides relief very quickly.

To schedule a consultation to evaluate your wrist pain, call or book an appointment online today.