Ask Health Experts and Get Answers to Your Health Question ASAP
Hi, My name isXXXXX you for using Just Answer. I am happy to help you with your concern.
It sounds as if you may have developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Your wrist contains several tendons and a nerve called the median nerve, these run through a space in the wrist known as the carpal tunnel. When pressure is applied to the median nerve it causes pain, tingling, numbness and in severe cases weakness in your hand, thumb and fingers. Carpal Tunnel can be caused by a number of things including repetitive movements in the wrist, smoking, an injury to the wrist, obesity, pregnancy or some diseases like diabetes or thyroid problems. Usually symptoms are first notable at night and as the syndrome progresses and becomes more severe the symptoms will become more noticeable with activities or at rest. Carpal tunnel is diagnosed by physical exam by a doctor, a nerve test called and EMG and blood work to make sure there is not an underlying cause such as diabetes or thyroid issues. If the results are carpal tunnel there are different treatment options depending on how severe your case is. If you just have a mild case you can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications either over the counter or prescription, modifying your activities and wearing a wrist brace while sleeping, the brace keeps your wrist in a neutral position which takes the pressure off of the nerve. If it is moderate you will do the above mentioned but physical therapy or cortisone injections may be recommended but if it is severe you will need surgery. Surgery is done as an outpatient and your doctor will either put you to sleep or use a local anesthesia to just numb your arm. The surgeon then makes a small incision in the palm of your hand, a ligament (transverse carpal ligament) is then cut which takes pressure off of the nerve. The incision is then closed with stitches that will stay in for around 7 days and covered with a bandage. Usually after the stitches are removed you will have a few sessions of physical therapy and in about 6-8 wks you can resume normal activity as tolerated. If carpal tunnel is left untreated it can cause permanent damage.
My recommendations to you are try treating this on your own for 2 weeks. Take 400mg of ibuprofen three times a day with food, purchase a wrist brace for carpal tunnel (available at most drug stores or super centers) to wear at night and ice your wrist for 20 minutes 3 times a day. If after this no relief is noticed then make an appt. with an orthopedic physician that specializes in the hand/wrist. They will likely do blood work and and may be able to get the EMG test sooner then August to see if you have carpal tunnel and how severe it is. The treatment will depend on your results.
If the tests do not show EMG you may want to have you neck looked at as neck problems can cause numbness/tingling but usually you have pain/numbness/tingling that runs down your arm along with weakness. I would have the carpal tunnel checked first.
If you have any further questions regarding your symptoms, please let me know. Hope you get relief soon!! Have a great day.
You can develop carpal tunnel in either hand, it does not have to be the one that is your dominant. A lot of people develop it in both hands. It does not always occur from repetitive actions like I mentioned before it can be due to several different diseases as well. Since you cannot take ibuprofen you can still try the brace and see if that provides you any relief.
There is also a nerve in your elbow and this can become pinched and give you symptoms very similar to carpal tunnel but you will have pins/needles from your elbow down to your fingers. It is know as cubital tunnel syndrome. Also a pinched nerve in your neck can also give you numbness/tingling, pain and weakness in the arm down to the fingers. You may want to either have an EMG test that includes the area around your elbow to look at that nerve or have a MRI of your neck to look for any pinched nerves there.
I wish you very good luck with your tonsillectomy and I hope your hand feels better soon. Have a nice day.