Carpal Tunnel and Ulnar Nerve Entrapment Dallas
Dr. Pouratian has a great deal of experience correcting carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve entrapment for patients in Dallas. These two conditions are caused by pinched nerves. Pinched nerves can result in pain and other neurological symptoms.
A nerve can get pinched at any point in its path. Most often, people think about pinched nerves in the spine. However, nerves can also be pinched in the arms or legs. The most common type of pinched nerve is in the wrist and elbow.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
In the wrist, the median nerve can get pinched and is called carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and pain in the thumb, index and middle fingers as well as thumb and finger weakness. Symptoms tend to get worse at night, with the hand “falling asleep” at night.
Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
In the elbow, the ulnar nerve can get pinched (called cubital tunnel syndrome). Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and pain in the pinky and ring fingers. Weakness is usually noted in the pinky, with atrophy (or wasting) around the pinky as well as in the space between the index finger and thumb. Symptoms tend to get worse at night, with the hand “falling asleep” at night.
Initial management includes using a wrist brace both at night and during the day. Sometimes, targeted injections can be used as well.
If symptoms progress or if there is clear weakness or atrophy, nerve decompression surgery should be considered. The goal of surgery is to increase the space through which the nerve is traveling and reduce the “pinching.” The cost of these procedures will be discussed during your consultation.
For carpal tunnel syndrome, surgery involves making a small incision on the wrist and opening the covering of the median nerve (the flexor retinaculum). The surgery is brief and can be extremely helpful. There is a risk of injuring the nerve, causing thumb weakness, but this is rare.
Recovery following carpal tunnel syndrome surgery can require working with a hand therapist and avoiding certain types of hand movement for several weeks. Heavy lifting should be avoided during healing and recovery.
For ulnar nerve entrapment, an incision is made on the elbow, where the nerve is decompressed in the region of the “funny bone.” If the nerve moves around a lot, we will sometimes move the nerve to a new, more stable position.
The recovery process after ulnar nerve entrapment surgery takes about six weeks in total. Stitches are removed during a follow-up appointment around ten days after the date of surgery.
Scheduling a Consultation
Those experiencing the symptoms of carpal tunnel or ulnar nerve entrapment in Dallas should arrange a consultation with Dr. Nader Pouratian. To schedule your consultation, contact our office today.