by Anela Izadi
Just when you thought the worst was over with nausea and vomiting making a sudden exit out of your daily pregnancy routine, your husband notices that your ankles have lost their sex appeal and have gained an appearance of the infamous cankles (calves merged with ankles). Of course, if he had any smarts, he would have thanked you for carrying his child, and proceeded to massage your cankles after propping them up on a pillow. However, it is more likely that in his own moment of shock, he forgot himself, and proclaimed…”Baby, where did your ankles go?”
After a couple of months and the cankle related emotional upset, you start noticing that your cankles now have a companion called wankles – the wrist equivalent of “fat” ankles. And to make things worse, these wankles seem to be causing you hand pain, numbness, and occasionally even weakness to the point that you can’t open that pickle jar with your usual intensity….What in the world is going on?
Don’t panic – there is a simple explanation!
It is very likely that you have developed pregnancy related carpal tunnel syndrome, which is very common. In pregnancy, there is an overall increase in body fluid, which can cause swelling and compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This may cause pain, “pins-and-needles” sensation, numbness, or weakness.
Luckily, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms usually get better after the delivery – just in time when you need your hands the most! If your symptoms don’t improve or worsen, it is important that you see a hand and wrist orthopedic specialist for an in depth evaluation. If left untreated, carpal tunnel syndrome can result in irreversible median nerve injury, which could markedly impair the use of your hand.
For more information on carpal tunnel syndrome and its surgical and non-surgical treatment options, please visit Omaha Carpal Tunnel. Most importantly, forgive your husband for his moments of ignorance!
Dr. Izadi is a hand, wrist, and elbow orthopedic specialist at MD West ONE.