Warning Signs of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a cumulative trauma condition that occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve in the wrist. This nerve, which passes through the length of the arm and an area of the wrist known as the carpal tunnel, connects to the hand and is responsible for finger movement and sensibility. When the carpal tunnel swells, excessive pressure is applied to the median nerve and leads to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Causes of Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common overuse injuries and often occurs in people who use their hands a lot for work, sports or other activities. Diabetes, thyroid abnormalities and other medical problems can additionally lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some pregnant women also experience this condition. Sometimes, however, the exact cause of carpal tunnel syndrome cannot be determined.

Symptoms of This Condition

Tingling, pain or weakness in the hand or wrist are some of the most common symptoms. Numbness may also be felt in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. Feelings of numbness may be especially prevalent when waking up in the morning or in the middle of the night. People who have carpal tunnel syndrome may also find themselves dropping things or performing clumsy motions with their hands.

Triggering Factors

In addition to the specific causes of carpal tunnel symptoms, certain factors can worsen its symptoms. Typing, driving and other activities that cause the wrist to bend often exacerbate this condition. Sleeping with a bent wrist position is another triggering factor. Some sufferers of carpal tunnel syndrome also say that their symptoms become more intense with high impact or vibration on the palm of the hand.

Non-Surgical Tips and Surgical Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Los Angeles board-certified plastic surgeon can recommend a treatment plan to resolve this medical condition. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to reduce swelling and alleviate symptoms. Patients may also be instructed to wear wrist splints at night to prevent the wrist from bending and thereby worsening symptoms. Stretching and other hand therapy exercises can sometimes be effective in treating this condition. Injections or surgery may be recommended if other treatments haven’t worked or in severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Elbow Fractures: How They Occur & How to Prevent Them

Elbow fractures occur when breaks form in any of the bones that make up the elbow joint. These fractures can result from low-energy and high-energy injuries and range in severity. A board-certified plastic hand surgeon can diagnose and treat elbow fractures so that patients can return to their normal lives with less pain and greater mobility.

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What Causes Elbow Fractures?

Many elbow fractures are caused by low-energy injuries such as falling while standing or bumping the elbow into a hard surface. Falls from high places, car accidents and hard collisions while playing sports are examples of high-energy injuries that require more intensive treatment to heal elbow fractures. Osteoporosis and other medical conditions that negatively affect the bones can also lead to elbow fractures developing.


Most elbow fractures result in at least some pain and swelling, but small breaks in the bone may only cause minor discomfort with no other symptoms. It  can result from acute or cumulative trauma or injury. Larger fractures can result in intense pain, instability of the joint and deformity. Dislocation of the elbow can occur as well with certain fractures. Bruising may also be visible around the area of the fracture.


Treatment will depend on the severity and specific location of the elbow fracture. For smaller fractures with mild to moderate pain, minimal bruising and no visible deformities, the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) treatment method can help the bone breakage heal quickly. Persistent pain, bruising and swelling with sensations of clinking, clunking or catching in the elbow should be evaluated by a doctor.

If medical treatment is required, the doctor will likely take x-rays of the elbow to identify the severity and exact location of the fracture. A splint, brace or cast may be used to stabilize the elbow so that the fracture can heal properly. Surgery may be required to treat fractures that are particularly large or deep.


Most elbow fractures heal without complications and do not cause long-term effects in patients. If soft tissue was damaged in addition to the fracture, pain and instability could persist and require treatment with physical therapy. Some patients report experiencing stiffness and arthritis even after their elbow fractures have healed.


Keeping the elbow bones and surrounding tissues strong and healthy by getting enough calcium can prevent these fractures. A doctor may recommend other preventative measures if the elbow bones are frail and susceptible to breaking. Using night lights and removing tripping hazards around the home can further prevent injuries that result in elbow fractures.

Contact LA Hand Surgeon today to see what treatment would most benefit you and your elbow condition.

The Anatomy of the Elbow and What Causes Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Ulnar nerve compression also known as cubital tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the ulnar nerve running from the neck to the hand (through the elbow) becomes constricted. This condition is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome with some distinctions.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

The ulnar nerve passes through the cubital tunnel, which is located under the bony prominence on the inner portion of the elbow. The ulnar nerve controls a number of the hand muscles that allow for fine movement, some of the forearm muscles necessary for gripping, and provides sensation to part of the ring finger and the little finger. When the ulnar nerve is compressed, you may feel tingling and numbness in the hand, pinky (little finger), and ring finger. Cubital tunnel syndrome can be differentiated from carpal tunnel syndrome by the fact that carpal tunnel syndrome affects the median nerve that provides feeling to the thumb, index, and middle finger but not the pinky or little finger.

Causes of Ulnar Nerve Compression

When the elbow is bent, the ulnar nerve is stretched around the medial epicondyle of the elbow. Over time, this repeated stretching can cause the nerve to become irritated and inflamed. Excess fluid in the joint, trauma, and leaning on the elbows for prolonged periods may cause swelling that can lead to nerve compression. Those most at risk for ulnar nerve entrapment include:

  • Individuals with prior dislocations or fractures involving the elbow;
  • Individuals engaged in activities that require repeated flexing and bending of the elbow; and
  • Individuals with arthritis, bone spurs, or cysts involving the elbow.

Possible Conservative Treatment

Rest, bracing, and other conservative treatments may be sufficient to reduce the inflammation and alleviate cubital tunnel symptoms. If symptoms persist or cause chronic muscle weakness in the hands, a cubital tunnel specialist may have to perform surgery to relieve the compression on that nerve.

Click here to learn about other cumulative traumas treated in our Beverly Hills’ office. For more information about treatments for ulnar nerve compression, schedule a consultation with one of our Beverly Hills plastic hand surgeons today.