Q: My hands get numb and seem to be doing so more often. When should I see the doctor for it?
A: Now. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a frequent cause of numbness, but other things can cause it as well, such as cubital tunnel syndrome, cervical radiculopathy, and peripheral neuropathy. A hand specialist can sort out the causes and recommend treatment options to alleviate numbness. Caught early, conservative treatments such as night splints and activity modification may be all that is needed. If your carpel tunnel is more advanced, a simple surgery may be needed to take pressure off of the nerve. The important thing to do is to have it evaluated, because if you wait too long, permanent nerve damage can occur.
Brian Smith, M.D.
Hand & Elbow Specialist
Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics
2415 McCallie Avenue
Chattanooga, TN 37404