About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
People with carpal tunnel syndrome tend to seek care when they are waking at night with numbness. At times, the numbness can be so intense that it is uncomfortable. A wrist splint can help you sleep for a while, however, over time the numbness can become constant and permanent. To avoid nerve damage, at some point you may need surgery.
At UT Health Austin, our carpal tunnel surgeons understand that sleeping well and having good sensation in your fingers is important for your normal lifestyle. We will work with you to customize a treatment plan. Our team of experts are here to help you every step of the way.
- CTS is pressure on the median nerve as it passes through a tunnel in your wrist.
- People that get CTS are born with a narrower tunnel.
- CTS causes numbness and tingling in your hands.
- A wrist brace can help you sleep.
- Surgery is eventually needed to avoid nerve damage.
Treating Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at UT Health Austin
Your clinician will confirm whether carpal tunnel syndrome is the correct diagnosis. A night splint might be all you need to help the numbness for a while. If you are waking up with numbness even when you wear a splint or the numbness is starting to linger, it’s time to plan surgery. Your care team will work with you to understand the risks and benefits of surgery as well as what to expect for the procedure and the recovery process.
Surgery immediately eliminates most of the numbness that comes and goes. You can use your hand immediately for everything except lifting heavy things. Scar tenderness improves for 6 to 12 months.
If you have numbness all the time, surgery can keep the problem from getting worse. After surgery, people with constant numbness may feel more numbness initially. This will take weeks to months to improve, and it may not completely go away.
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. This means you will benefit from the expertise of multiple specialists across a variety of disciplines caring for you in one place to avoid having to schedule multiple appointments with providers at locations all over the city. The Musculoskeletal Institute care team includes orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, physiatrists, chiropractors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, social workers, and more who work together to help you get back to the things in your life that matter most to you.
We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to customize a treatment plan specific to you. Treatment may include nonsurgical interventions, such as lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, or medication and injections, or surgery may be the best course of action to help improve your pain and function. Advanced imaging and lab testing are also available on-site if needed.