How can I detect Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)?
A good indicator of CTS is pain at night that radiates to the tops of your thumb, index, middle and ring finger. Another indicator of CTS is increased pain during the day when carrying out manual activities with the affected hand. The little finger usually remains unaffected, unless there is a case of additional sulcus nervi ulnaris syndrome. This syndrome involves the narrowing of the ulnar hand nerve. Issues in the cervical spine region (the neck) can also mimic the symptoms of CTS. For this reason, a clinical assessment can offer further indications of whether you are suffering from CTS. Two common clinical signs are:
1. THE HOFMANN-TINEL SIGN:
Tapping the area of the wrist can test for pins and needles in the affected fingers.
2. THE PHALEN SIGN:
By bending or overstretching the wrist, we can mimic the causes leading to the typical discomfort in the median nerve’s supply area. The stretch is then held for up to 1 minute.
Objective diagnostics through measurements
To determine the right treatment, a nerve conduction velocity measurement must always be carried out. This allows any subjective issues to be objectively differentiated from other causes. In some cases, a high-resolution ultrasound can also provide valuable information, especially when the CTS is recurring.
For ethical reasons, we don’t carry out these assessments ourselves, as we do not want to confirm our own diagnoses and surgical indications. Instead, we organise timely appointments for our patients, also on insurance, at independent sites. The referral can also be done online. We believe this is an indispensable quality factor!
THE 3 POINTS
How to find out if you’re
suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome:
- The common pain at night – the thumb, index and middle fingers are affected
- Numbness in these three fingers
- The little finger remains unaffected
The earlier it is treated, the higher the chances of success. Get in touch with me for an obligation-free personal consultation.
The pain radiates from the wrist to the thumb, index and middle finger of the affected hand. The pain varies depending on the activity.
Your hands fall asleep
Your hands fall asleep during activities or at night. You’ll feel numbness in the area of the thumb, index and middle finger.
Joint pains in the fingers
At times, reduced use of your hand can cause joint problems in the affected fingers, or you can develop a trigger finger.
Pins and needles
Tapping on the wrist creates the sensation of pins and needles radiating into the fingers.
Aggravated symptoms during activity
The symptoms feel more intense during activities such as cycling, motorcycling, playing tennis, kneading dough, etc. You’ll find they improve with rest.
Chronic carpal tunnel syndrome can also cause numbness for the affected fingers. This can become permanent, no longer responding to other types of treatment.
Dr Georg C. Bézard, Senior Consultant
Währing Private Clinic
Kreuzgasse 17-19, 1180 Vienna
Franz Josef Str. 12, 3430 Tulln
Telephone: +43 (0) 660 3737 936
Practice visits by appointment only