Carpal Tunnel

Itay Melamed, MD -  - Neurosurgeon

Advanced Brain & Spine

Itay Melamed, MD

Neurosurgeon located in Centennial, CO & Wheat Ridge, CO

Carpal Tunnel Specialist
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), which is the result of a pinched or compressed nerve in your wrist, usually affects your dominant hand most severely. CTS can cause numbness, tingling, and pain throughout your hand and arm, making everyday tasks a challenge. At Advanced Brain & Spine, with locations in Centennial and Wheat Ridge, Colorado, Dr. Itay Melamed provides comprehensive treatment options for patients with this wrist-nerve disorder. If you’re in the Denver area and you have CTS, call or book your appointment online today.

Carpal Tunnel Q&A

by Itay Melamed, MD

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) occurs when the median nerve, which extends down the inside of your arm from your forearm to the palm of your hand, becomes compressed or pinched where it passes through your wrist.

At your wrist, the median nerve runs through the carpal tunnel, a narrow, rigid passageway of ligaments and bones. The carpal tunnel also houses the tendons that help you bend and extend your fingers. When these tendons are irritated, swollen, or inflamed, the tunnel narrows and compresses the median nerve, resulting in CTS.  

What are the symptoms of CTS?

Early signs of CTS usually include intermittent tingling or numbness in your thumb, index, and middle fingers. You may also experience pain or discomfort in your wrist or through the palm of your hand. Other common symptoms include:

  • Burning, tingling, or itching numbness
  • Ongoing pain or discomfort, especially after activity
  • A weak grip or inability to grasp small objects


As CTS worsens, you may experience numbness or tingling in your arm, wrist, hand, or fingers that wakes you up at night and makes you feel as if you need to shake out your hand. Left untreated, CTS can ultimately cause the muscles at the base of your thumb to waste away.  

Are there risk factors for CTS?

No single factor causes CTS; rather, the condition usually develops as a result of several risk factors coming together. Women are three times more likely than men to develop CTS because their wrists/carpal tunnels are smaller. Other major risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Fluid retention
  • Repetitive use


Any injury or condition that affects your wrist, including a bone fracture or arthritis, can contribute to the development of CTS. Diabetes and other chronic illnesses associated with nerve damage can also lead to CTS.

How is CTS treated?

Treating CTS as early as possible is important in preventing long-term nerve damage. Initial treatment may include:

  • Resting the affected hand
  • Changing patterns of hand use
  • Wearing a wrist-hand orthotic
  • Having steroid injections


If these early interventions don’t work, you may be a candidate for surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery is a type of peripheral nerve surgery that’s usually done on an outpatient basis.

Whenever possible, Dr. Melamed treats severe CTS through minimally invasive endoscopic surgery, using a small incision and tiny instruments. Compared to open surgery, this method helps minimize discomfort, reduce potential complications, and promote faster healing.

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