Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Call for an Appointment

People with carpal tunnel syndrome have more treatment options than in the past. Duke hand and wrist specialists in Durham and Raleigh use a variety of nonsurgical and minimally invasive techniques to relieve your symptoms and return full movement to your hand. Our reputation for success in treating carpal tunnel syndrome brings hundreds of people to us for treatment each year.

Duke Hand and Wrist Specialists

Meet our hand and wrist specialists, view their profiles, and select the one that’s right for you.

About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common condition that causes numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in your wrist or hand, particularly in your thumb and first few fingers. Repetitive motions -- such as assembly line work, racquet sports, and typing -- are often the cause. 

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist where nerves and tendons pass through to your hand. If your tendons or tissues become swollen, they can compress a nerve, causing carpal tunnel syndrome. You’re more likely to get the condition if you have relatively small carpal tunnels. It can also occur due to a traumatic injury or following surgery.

When to Seek Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Rest, applying cold packs, and avoiding repetitive motion can help, but if your symptoms persist or interrupt your sleep or daily activities, it may be time to see a hand and wrist specialist. It’s important not to wait too long to get care; carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent nerve damage if left untreated.

Duke Orthopaedic Clinics

Our hand and wrist specialists see patients at Duke Orthopaedic clinics in Durham and Raleigh. Find one near you.

Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Your Duke hand and wrist specialist will do a physical exam to rule out other wrist conditions with similar symptoms. He or she may also use tests such as nerve conduction studies or ultrasound to confirm your diagnosis.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Whenever possible, our hand and wrist specialists use nonsurgical treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome. These can include a wrist brace or splint, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), or steroid injections.

Occupational Therapy

Our hand and wrist care team includes occupational therapists who specialize in treating hand, wrist, and elbow conditions. If you have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll also work with our occupational therapists to achieve maximum recovery and return quickly to your normal activities -- typically in less than two weeks.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome involves cutting the ligament that forms part of the carpal tunnel. This creates a gap that eventually heals with scar tissue, providing a larger space and relieving pressure on the nerve. Where possible, our surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery, which uses very small incisions and miniature instruments to release the carpal tunnel. These procedures are used more commonly than open surgery and result in quicker recovery, with less pain and scarring.

toy phone

Call for an Appointment

Why Choose Duke

We Treat the Full Range of Hand and Wrist Conditions
This includes injuries in amateur and professional athletes of all ages. Many come to Duke from other parts of the country for our expert sports-injury care. We often help patients who come to us after treatment at other centers has failed.

Advanced Care from Skilled Experts
Our hand and wrist surgeons are skilled in the most advanced surgical techniques for repairing injuries, correcting deformities, and restoring function. This includes wrist fusion and wrist replacement surgeries. Whenever possible, our surgeons offer minimally invasive procedures, which can reduce your healing time.

Specially Trained Hand Therapists
Occupational therapists who specialize in hand and wrist conditions are located right in our clinics. They provide customized therapy to help you recover from surgery as quickly as possible -- or avoid the need for surgery altogether.

We’re Innovators and Teachers
Our hand and wrist specialists have developed new treatment techniques and devices that are now used across the country. They’re also teachers who train the next generation of orthopaedic specialists in complex surgical procedures.

Best Orthopaedic Hospital in NC

Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked orthopaedics program is the best in North Carolina.
Reviewed: 05/04/2018