What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that affects the hand and wrist. It occurs when the median nerve, which runs through a narrow passageway in the wrist, becomes compressed or squeezed.
What are some common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?
- Hand numbness
- Tingling and numbness
- Difficulty with coordination
- Loss of reflexes
We will conduct a thorough evaluation to ensure an accurate diagnosis. If carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected, your doctor may arrange the following assessments to confirm the diagnosis:
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Phalen's test to assess the flexibility of your wrists
- Tinel's test is used to assess if you experience tingling when the median nerve is lightly tapped
Treatment and management
Your Epworth care team will work together with you and your family to plan the best approach to treatment and symptom management.
You may be referred to either an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon, as both specialists have expertise in managing this condition.
Based on your symptom severity and individual circumstances, your Epworth specialist may recommend the following:
Your Epworth specialist may recommend wearing a splint that keeps the wrist in a neutral position, as well as ergonomic adjustments to workstations and avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms.
Minimally invasive procedures
If non-surgical treatments do not provide sufficient relief, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel release to alleviate pressure on the median nerve.
In some cases, oral or injectable corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms.
Carpal tunnel surgery is considered when symptoms are severe or do not respond to conservative treatments. An orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon performs the surgery. To learn more, visit the hand, wrist and elbow page.
Rehabilitation and hand therapy
Epworth Private Practice provides hand therapy delivered by an occupational therapist or physiotherapist who specialises in treating hand or upper limb injuries and chronic conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Coordination and ongoing care
Your Epworth specialist may arrange referrals to other specialists such as occupational therapists, psychologists or physiotherapists to address associated challenges.
For carpal tunnel syndrome
Your care team at Epworth
The multidisciplinary team for carpal tunnel syndrome may include a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon and allied health professionals, such as an occupational therapist.
Learn more about the health professionals in the neurology care team.