Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- How do you know that carpal tunnel syndrome is causing my symptoms?
- What can I do to relieve my pain?
- Are there any special exercises I can do to strengthen my hand and wrist?
- What is the best treatment option? Will I need surgery?
- How long will it take to recover?
- Is it likely that Ill experience this problem again, either in this hand/arm or in my other hand/arm?
How Do I Get Ready For Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
- Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. You will probably need to stop taking any medicines that make it harder for the blood to clot, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen.
- If youre a smoker, try to quit before the surgery. Smoking can delay healing.
- You may need to get blood tests or an electrocardiogram before surgery.
- You will usually be asked not to eat or drink anything for 6 to 12 hours before the surgery.
Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparations.
Can Carpal Tunnel Go Away Without Treatment
If youre like most people, you probably try to avoid surgery as much as possible unless it is absolutely necessary. Of course, surgery is unavoidable in certain cases and can be a highly beneficial or even life-saving step for many patients. When it comes to carpal tunnel syndrome, which affects hundreds of thousands of men and women each year, the decision on whether to undergo surgery can be difficult. Many patients wonder if their carpal tunnel can resolve on its own or with conservative, at-home remedies. Orthopedic expert Dr. Christopher Williams and the knowledgeable team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta fully understand the desire to avoid surgery as a first step and are proud to offer a number of nonsurgical alternatives to help alleviate carpal tunnel symptoms when possible. Learn more about carpal tunnel treatment methods here, and find out when surgery may ultimately be your best option.
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Urgent Care Wait Times Vs Er
Wait times in emergency rooms and urgent care centers can vary greatly depending on many circumstances. Generally, if you go to an urgent care center, you will be seen quicker than if you went to an emergency room. According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Urgent Care Association of America, the average urgent care wait time is 30 minutes or less, and most patients were treated in 60 minutes or less.
On the contrary, emergency rooms take care of patients with the most life-threatening conditions first. So, if you go to the ER with only a sore throat, it may be a long time before you are back home in bed.
When a patient arrives in the ER, a triage nurse evaluates the severity of their condition. Those who are severely ill or injured are the priority in an emergency room, and patients with mild or minor ailments are left to wait.Treatment times are also longer for patients in emergency rooms. According to the CDC,thefive triage levels are as follows:
The CDC also reported the time difference for different triage levels. For example, those considered to be in need of immediate care were to be seen in less than a minute, whereas as semi-urgent patients were triaged as needing to be seen within one to two hours. Nonurgent patients were triaged to be seen between two and 24 hours thus one of the reasons to avoid the ER for the common cold.
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An Inside Look At A Frozen Shoulder
If youve ever suffered from a frozen shoulder, you know all too well the stiffness, debilitating pain and immobility of the joint and how it can affect every aspect of your life. A frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis in medical terms, is a fairly common complaint and one that frequently brings people to the ER for treatment.
Connective tissue in the shoulder becomes inflamed and will thicken, causing more difficulties in mobility. A frozen shoulder will worsen over time and can last for a couple years, then potentially improve after that.
What are the symptoms of a frozen shoulder?
A frozen shoulder can be stiff, difficult to move to the point of hardly moving it at all, and painful when moved, said Advance ER physician Dr. Rajesh Rao. If you are suffering from shoulder pain and noticing it is getting worse, especially at night, it is possibly a form of adhesive capsulitis.
A frozen shoulder can have three stages:
What caused my frozen shoulder?
If youre wondering how your shoulder got so messed up, it might be hard to pinpoint any one thing. Here are some common causes for a frozen shoulder:
- Whiplash injury
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Common Conditions Requiring Treatment
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the condition that carpal tunnel release surgery treats. It starts gradually and gets worse over time. You may feel tingling and numbness in your fingers or palm. Your hands might also become weak, and you may have trouble holding onto things. This condition can also cause sensations that feel like small electric shocks going up your arm.When your doctor diagnoses you with carpal tunnel syndrome, they first might want you to try a few different treatments that don’t involve surgery. These treatments include:
- Icing your wrist a few times a day
- Taking medications that lower inflammation in your body
- Wearing a brace to stabilize your wrist and keep it straight
- Getting cortisone injections to reduce swelling around the carpal tunnel
If these treatments don’t relieve symptoms, your doctor may decide that surgery is the best option.
When To See A Doctor
Consider talking to a doctor if sciatica pain lasts longer than 6 weeks or gets too serious.
To help alleviate symptoms, medications or spinal steroid injections can be administered by medical professionals.
A physician could recommend seeing a physical therapist for manual manipulation, massage, and specific sciatica exercises to address the underlying cause.
A doctor can perform surgery to remove part of the spinal disk that affects the nerve if sciatic pain lasts for 6 months to 1 year.
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The Hand Doctor Is In Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
When people hear about orthopedic injuries, they usually think about knees, shoulders, and hips. Hand injuries send a million workers to ERs each year. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 110,000 lost-time hand injuries annually. Injuries to your hand or wrist can be debilitating to your every day function. The Hand Doctor is In Blog series was created to provide you with information about common hand and wrist conditions/ injuries.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is by far the most common problem that I see in my hand surgery practice. It is caused by compression of the median nerve at the level of the wrist. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the hands
- Symptoms are usually intermittent and often worse at night or with the hands elevated.
In severe cases, loss of sensation and weakness can result. Diagnosis is based on history, physical exam and often a nerve study .
Most cases of CTS are idiopathic, meaning that the cause is unknown or arises spontaneously. However, there are certain medical conditions that make someone more likely to develop it. These include diabetes, thyroid disease, inflammatory arthritis, and obesity. It is also more common in women and with increasing age. There is not good literature to support the notion that it is caused by repetitive activity or typing, although these may worsen symptoms.
The good thing about carpal tunnel syndrome is that it is a very treatable condition.
Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Considering the range of motion a shoulder has, its perhaps not too surprising how common shoulder pain really isits estimated about 7.5 million people a year see a doctor for shoulder pain, and many more manage the pain at home. Your shoulder allows you to move your arms from side to side, forward and backward, and up above your head. A painful shoulder injury can occur from repetitive motions or acute, sudden injuries chronic illnesses like can damage the joint as well. Here are the most common reasons people experience shoulder pain:
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Heart Attack Or Pinched Nerve
I recently had a conversation with an out-of-state friend who related the following:
I was thinking about calling you a couple months ago. I had this horrible pain down my left arm and then I started to feel pain and a tingling sensation in my elbow. When my fingers started to feel tingly and kind of numb I was convinced I must be having a heart attack. I went to the emergency room and was relieved to find out it wasnt a heart attack but they had no idea what it could be. I went to see a neurologist, an orthopedist, an internist, etc. They did all these different tests blood tests, MRIs, CAT scans, etc. I spent tons of time and money and no one could figure out the problem. They gave me pain killers and muscle relaxants but nothing worked. I wasnt able to sleep. It was awful. Finally, I went to a local chiropractor. Do you know what it was? I had a pinched nerve in my neck. After doing some traction and a few adjustments the pain, tingling, and numbness were gone! Her last commentI should have called you right away!! It would have saved me a lot in pain & suffering, time, and money!
Its common for us to leap to the worst case scenario when we have unexplained pain. And I cannot stress enough that if you ever even suspect you may be having a heart attack, go to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY or call 911. If it is a heart attack, minutes count.
Types Of Painful Feelings
As describe above, theplacewhere carpal tunnel pain hurts the most is easy to define. But describing the actualtypeof pain patients feel is more difficult.
The types of pain reported have a wide range. They can be anywhere fromannoying or bothersometocrushing or punishing. The specificqualitiesof pain sensations usually described are:
Note that you can have only one or all of these pain sensations at the same time. Usually having more than one type of pain sensation is relative to the stage of carpal tunnel syndrome.More advanced stages produce additional types of pain sensations.
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Other Things To Consider
One of the worst aspects of coronavirus admission I have seen to date is the boredom and loneliness that patients experience. Therefore, I suggest also packing mindfulness tapes, a phone charger, extra reading glasses if necessary, books, music, a yoga mat – anything you can bring to pass the time.
Consider, too, a few portable phone-charging bricks if you fear having too much pain to get out of bed to charge your phone. And of course, be sure to pack any personal items such as a brush, toothbrush, underwear, change of clothes, and so forth.
Finally, another little tip I have learned: Current research suggests Sars-CoV-2 enters primarily through the nose. If you must be in public, food shopping, or waiting in line, consider wearing a swimmers nose clip in addition to the mask. While the mask affords some protection to you, its hard to remember to breathe with your mouth. A nose clip may feel weird out of the water, but at least you can hide it behind your mask to stay safe!
See Dr. Baxter’s previous piece on how to communicate your pain in an ER setting.
How Can Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Be Prevented
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be difficult to prevent. The condition can be caused by so many different activities in a persons daily life that prevention can be challenging. Workstation changesproper seating, hand and wrist placementcan help decrease some factors that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Other preventative methods include:
- Sleeping with your wrists held straight.
- Keeping your wrists straight when using tools.
- Avoiding flexing and extending your wrists repeatedly.
- Taking frequent rest breaks from repetitive activities.
- Performing conditioning and stretching exercises before and after activities.
- Monitoring and properly treating medical conditions linked to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Types Of Common Gardening Hand Injuries
After spending a few hours in your favorite sunhat tending to your garden, you may notice an uncomfortable pressure in your wrist or aching pain shooting up your arm.
It helps to know the root of your pain before speaking with a physician.
Here are the hand, wrist, elbow, and arminjuries we treat to help you determine the main source of your pain.
Urgent Care Vs Orthopaedic Urgent Care: Which One Should You Choose
When we suffer injuries that we feel need immediate treatment, our first inclination can be to go to a local urgent care center to get things taken care of. In general, this process involves heading to the urgent care location, waiting for an hour or longer, then finally being seen by someone who will diagnose us or refer us to a person who can diagnose us.
For certain types of ailments a traditional urgent care center could be a good solution. When your ailment involves pain in your muscles or joints however, an orthopaedic urgent care center will be much more efficient and practical.
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What Risks Are Associated With Surgery
You may experience bruising in your hand or temporary numbness after the procedure. That usually disappears after a few weeks. But other problems may occur that last longer, such as pain or trouble with the surgical scar. About 5 out of 100 people who have open surgery can expect to have these kinds of minor complications, compared to about 3 out of 100 people who have endoscopic surgery.
Fewer than 1 out of 100 people have more major complications following surgery. Examples of such complications include a swollen hand or median nerve damage. In these cases trouble moving the hand, pain and numbness might not go away.
The risk of complications also depends on how experienced the surgeons are. This is especially true for the endoscopic procedures they are slightly more difficult.
Carpal Tunnel Pain Relief
Have you ever felt excruciating pain? So much so that it brings you to the emergency room? Then, you wait several hours to be seen, meet with the doctor, to be quickly told you that youve got Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, and they send you home with prescription of Ibuprofen. If its happened to you, we are so sorry that you wasted your trip. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is no joke and can cause tons of pain. At Caron Chiropractic Clinic, P.A., we want to make it better. If you are searching for relief from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, one of our MN offices can help.
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Does Carpal Tunnel Surgery Leave Scars
How long does carpal tunnel Scar take to heal?
Pain after Carpal tunnel surgery
How to treat a scar?
What is the average recovery time for carpal tunnel surgery? How do you treat the incision after carpal tunnel surgery?
The risk and complication rates of open surgery are very low. Major problems such as nerve damage happen in fewer than 1 out of 100 surgeries . There is a small risk that the median nerve or other tissues may be damaged during surgery. After open surgery, recovery may be slower than after endoscopic surgery. And there may be some pain in the wrist and hand. You may also have some tenderness around the scar. There are also the risks of any type of surgery, including possible infection and risks of general anesthesia. But most open carpal tunnel surgery is done with local anesthesia or regional block rather than with general anesthesia.
Scar tissue on the skin surface can be unsightly and destroy the beauty of the natural anatomy, but the scar tissue below the surface in the muscle tissue, around the tendon sheaths and fascia tissue and in the transverse carpal ligament can be a lot more problematic from a functional point of view. Scar tissue can limit movement and be the source of permanent tenderness and permanent loss of grip strength and it can create pressure on the Median Nerve.
Sometimes carpal tunnel scar tissue will result in the same symptoms post-surgery as before.
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How to treat a scar
What Treatment Is Available For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Both surgical and non-surgical therapy options are available to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, depending on the severity of symptoms. Those who seek a diagnosis and treatment from a doctor early have the best odds of recovering fully. For early carpal tunnel syndrome cases, your doctor may encourage you to rest your hands frequently when performing repetitive tasks, wearing a wrist splint, and applying cold packs to help reduce swelling.
Your doctor might also recommend the use of an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug , such as ibuprofen, to help relieve discomfort and pain. Other treatments include the injection of corticosteroids to decrease swelling and inflammation. In the most severe cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure known as a carpal tunnel release procedure, which aims to relieve pressure by cutting the ligament pressing on the median nerve.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, tingling, or numbness in your wrist, hand, or arm, and you believe carpal tunnel syndrome may be the cause, talk to your doctor. He or she can provide a diagnosis and provide a recommendation on an appropriate treatment plan.
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