Carpal Tunnel Specialist

Brad Carofino, MD -  - Shoulder and Hand Surgeon

Brad Carofino, MD

Shoulder and Hand Surgeon located in Virginia Beach, VA & Chesapeake, VA

If you experience frequent pain or weakness in your hands and fingers, or tend to drop things from your grip, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome. At Dr. Brad Carofino’s practice in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia, effective treatments for reducing the discomfort and pain of carpal tunnel are available. To schedule an evaluation, contact the office by phone or use the online booking feature.

Carpal Tunnel Q & A

by Brad Carofino, MD

What is carpal tunnel?

Carpal tunnel is a chronic syndrome affecting your hand and wrist. The condition is the result of a compressed nerve in your carpal tunnel, the narrow passage on the underside of your wrist.

What causes carpal tunnel?

Any activity that puts pressure on the nerve in the carpal tunnel can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. If you frequently work with vibrating tools or perform wrist-flexing repetitive motions, you are at increased risk of developing the condition.

If you have a nerve-damaging condition like diabetes or a chronic inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis, your carpal tunnel nerve may become irritated or compressed and result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other factors that can increase your risk of carpal tunnel include:

  • Obesity
  • Fluid retention
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Kidney disease

What are the symptoms of carpal tunnel?

Carpal tunnel symptoms often develop gradually, starting with discomfort in the palm of your hand and in your wrist. As the condition progresses, you may experience tingling sensations in your hands and fingers and from your wrist up through your arm. In some cases, you may feel an electric shocking sensation with certain movements.

Numbness and weakness are also common symptoms of carpal tunnel. As your nerve irritation worsens, you may experience a loss of sensation and constant weakness. You may frequently drop things you’re trying to hold or feel like you have to shake out your hand and fingers to restore feeling.

How is carpal tunnel diagnosed?

To diagnose carpal tunnel, Dr. Carofino reviews your medical history and the occurrence of symptoms. He also conducts a physical exam to evaluate your symptoms and test the muscles in your hand and fingers.

To rule out other possible causes of pain, such as fractures or the presence of arthritis, Dr. Carofino may order X-rays on your wrist.

What treatments are available for carpal tunnel?

Once you start experiencing symptoms, Dr. Carofino can recommend nonsurgical therapies to relieve your symptoms. Possible treatments may include splinting the affected wrist or an injection of steroids to reduce inflammation. He may also suggest over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and inflammation associated with carpal tunnel.

If your carpal tunnel is advanced and you don’t get relief from other methods, Dr. Carofino may recommend carpal tunnel surgery. Surgery can permanently alleviate the pressure on your nerve and reduce pain, numbness, and weakness in your fingers and hand.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Carofino online or by phone to learn more.