Edward Callahan thought the ongoing pain and tingling in his hands was caused by a pinched nerve in his neck. “I was having a lot of tingling and numbness in my hands when I would ride my bicycle, do exercises on the elliptical, even just at night lying in bed it would bother me. If I was reading a book, my hands would bother me.”
But when he went to his doctor, he discovered the pain was actually caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. “In two minutes he goes, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your neck, I think you have carpal tunnel. I said, I never even thought about that. Sure enough that’s what it turned out,” said Edward.
Physician assistant Jackie Wise says carpal tunnel syndrome is often mistaken for a pinched nerve or arthritis. “It’s actually an entrapment on the nerve itself and it causes nerve dysfunction.”
Doctors may recommend an anti-inflammatory, but if that doesn’t work surgical decompression is another option. “That would be an incision in the palm of the hand and we would open that sheath where the nerve lies and just open it up and decompress that nerve,” said Wise.
After trying conservative treatments, Edward opted for the surgery. “It was instant relief. The day after the surgery I didn’t have any of the normal experiences that I had with carpal tunnel, like waking up in the middle of the night or the numbness and the tingling in my hands and fingers, that was gone immediately,” said Edward.
The one time procedure helps patients like Edward return to their normal routine-leaving the pain behind. “I just don’t have the tingling that was a real nescience. It was very annoying,” said Edward.
Carpal tunnel can be caused by repetitive hand movements, obesity, even pregnancy. If patients are experiencing symptoms it’s important they speak to their doctor, as the pain will not go away on its own.
View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/
Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.