Some Doctors Wrongly Advise Surgery
Another alarming statistic comes from theNational Institutes of Healthand other medical resources. They estimate more than50 percent of patientswho undergo carpal tunnel release surgery to treat their symptoms dont have carpal tunnel syndrome to begin with!
- That’s 50% unnecessary surgeries!
Carpal tunnel release surgery is thesecond most common surgeryin the USA today. So this statistic comes as no surprise given the wild over-diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome in recent years.
Therefore, be very skeptical if any doctor rushes to advise hand surgery without being absolutely sure this is the treatment you need.
Symptoms Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome often produces symptoms gradually or during specific activities, like typing or working. Over time, symptoms can present more frequently and for longer periods.
The most common carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms include:
- Numbness or stabbing to the thumb side of the hand that occurs gradually and worsens over time.
- Tingling feelings throughout the wrist, hands, and fingers.
- Shooting pains in the arms
- Intense pain and discomfort in the thumb and three main fingers
At the beginning stages of carpal tunnel syndrome, shaking out the wrists may temporary help relieve symptoms.
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.
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What Is Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery
Carpal tunnel release is a surgery used to treat and potentially heal the painful condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Doctors used to think that carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by an overuse injury or a repetitive motion performed by the wrist or hand, often at work. They now know that it’s most likely a congenital predisposition some people simply have smaller carpal tunnels than others. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by injury, such as a sprain or fracture, or repetitive use of a vibrating tool. It’s also been linked to pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The median nerve and tendons that allow your fingers to move pass through a narrow passageway in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel is formed by the wrist bones on the bottom and the transverse carpal ligament across the top of the wrist. When this part of the body is injured or tight, swelling of the tissues within the tunnel can press on the median nerve. This causes numbness and tingling of the hand, pain, and loss of function if not treated. Symptoms usually start slowly, and may get worse over time. They tend to be worse on the thumb side of the hand.
During a carpal tunnel release, a surgeon cuts through the ligament that is pressing down on the carpal tunnel. This makes more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel, and usually improves pain and function.
What’s Your Doctors Reasonable Expectation Of The Surgery
Remember that carpal tunnel syndrome is a disease with no cure. Symptoms may lessen after the surgery, at least for some time. But in50% of patientssymptoms return within two years. What happens then;another operation that will likely fail?Discuss what might be the next step in case your surgery fails.
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When Would My Doctor Suggest Surgery
Over time, carpal tunnel syndrome can weaken the muscles of your hands and wrists. If symptoms go on for too long, your condition will keep getting worse.
If any of these sound like your situation, your doctor might suggest surgery:
- Other treatments — like braces, corticosteroids, and changes to your daily routine — havenât helped.
- You have pain, numbness, and tingling that donât go away or get better in 6 months.
- You find it harder to grip, grasp, or pinch objects like you once did.
When Should You See A Doctor For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hands often signify carpal tunnel syndrome. Explore these symptoms and the importance of seeking prompt care.
Carpal tunnel syndrome results in pain, weakness, tingling, and numbness caused by the compression of the median nerve, which runs down the arm, through the wrist, and into the hand. These symptoms may seem like a simple annoyance, but over time the pain can increase and severely affect simple hand functions like gripping. Learn how to identify the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome so you can seek prompt medical treatment.
Symptoms That Require Medical Attention
Carpal tunnel syndrome is most common among pregnant women, people who perform repetitive hand motions, people who have a family history of this condition, and people with certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes. You should see a doctor if you develop:
- Any carpal tunnel symptoms that affect your ability to work
- Weakness in the thumb, fingers, or hand
- Inability to bring the index finger and thumb together
- Difficulty holding objects or performing simple movements with your hands
- Numbness, tingling, or pain in the hand for fingers lasting more than two weeks
These symptoms usually develop gradually. If you abruptly lose feeling in the;fingers, arm, or hand, call 911 or go to the emergency room.
Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Include Exercises To Reduce Carpal Tunnel Pain
There are a few exercises you can do each day that will help relieve the pressure on the nerves that are causing pain. It strengthens your wrists and helps to relieve pressure on the median nerve. Do it daily and you will find improvements in your wrist pain. It is also great for preventing any future issues with Carpal Tunnel.
Using all these methods together have dramatically decreased my carpal tunnel pain to where Im now back to living my life. At first it didnt remove all the pain, but after doing all these tips for a while, I now can go months without pain. I now hardly notice any carpal tunnel pain unless I have really over done the typing on the computer or the crocheting. I still dont have the same strength in my hands that I did before, like I cant open bottles, soda bottles, jars of pickles, etc without help, but at least I dont have the constant throbbing pain!
I hope these tips can help you better manage your carpal tunnel as well!
Advanced Care For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Relief
Aurora offers a wide range of carpal tunnel syndrome treatments that arent available everywhere, from minimally invasive surgery to specialized physical and occupational therapy.
People choose Aurora because we offer:
- Minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery: We were among the first in Wisconsin to offer carpal tunnel endoscopy. This procedure uses tiny surgical tools inserted through small incisions. Learn more about minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery.
- Hand therapy experts: Our certified hand therapists are physical therapists or occupational therapists who have thousands of hours of experience improving peoples hand function and comfort with or without surgery. Learn more about hand therapy.
- Occupational therapy on-site: Occupational therapists work right alongside our hand surgeons in many of our clinics. This means your doctor and therapist can both talk with you about custom-fitted splints, exercises and other treatment options.
- Convenient care in Milwaukee and beyond: The Aurora Hand Service Program provides specialized care for conditions involving the hand or arm, from fingertips to shoulder, including carpal tunnel syndrome and its effects. For more information, contact us.
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How Do I Know If I Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Theyâll probably start with questions about your medical history. Then theyâll examine your hands, arms, shoulders, and neck to figure out if your pain results from another condition, like an injury or arthritis. Theyâll also make sure your daily activities arenât to blame.
The doctor may focus on your wrist to see if the area is tender, swollen, warm, or discolored. Theyâll probably test each finger to see if youâve lost any feeling. And theyâll check the strength of the muscles in your hand.
After that, they may do tests focusing on the median nerve, which runs through your forearm into your hand. When that nerve gets pressed or squeezed through the carpal tunnel, it causes carpal tunnel syndrome.
Helpful Life Hacks For Carpal Tunnel Pain
When you have the wrist or hand pain and tingling of carpal tunnel syndrome, it may seem like surgery is the only answer. But there are measures you can take to either avoid or postpone surgery and still have good quality of life.
2.Use a wrist braceBracing the wrist is one of the most reliable ways to stabilize the wrist and ease carpal tunnel pain. When selecting a brace, choose a structured, firm option that will immobilize the wrist, as opposed a flexible one made of neoprene or elastic.
3.Elevate hands, especially during sleepElevating the hands and wrists can help ease inflammation, particularly at night. This can be done by sleeping on your back and propping your wrists up on pillows. Since keeping your arms straight can also help, try wrapping a towel or ace bandage around your elbows.
5.Ask about job rotationIf your job involves activities such as repetitive assembly line work, talk with your employer about the possibility of rotating tasks to give your wrists and hands a rest.
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Secret #11: Essential Oils
This is another highly contentious subject. While research says that there is no proof that essential oils have any healing power, thousands of testimonials say otherwise. You have nothing to lose by trying some of the essential oils listed here.
Some of the most commonly recommended essential oils for carpal tunnel include:
Mixing one or more of the above oils and gently heating them creates a sweet-smelling massage oil. Use several times each day for best results.
Carpal Tunnel Surgery In Beaumont Tx
Beaumont Bone & Joint Institute offers a wide variety of orthopaedic treatment options, including carpal tunnel treatment. Our skilled physicians offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, and most of the services you need can be handled on-site. If you have any questions about carpal tunnel treatment, or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, please contact our Beaumont office at or our Port Arthur office at , or use our convenient appointment request form.
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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?
What Are The Symptoms
Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand. Some people may have pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.
Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.
You may first notice symptoms at night. You may be able to get relief by shaking your hand.
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What Kind Of Doctor For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Perform a physical exam. A primary care physician PCP treats many different common health conditions such as the common cold or flu. Carpal tunnel occurs when pressure on the median nerve a nerve that passes through wrist causes pain numbness and weakness in the hand. Doctors by Insurance Location. Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the median nerve which runs from your forearm to your hand through a narrow space called the carpal tunnel. Perform a physical exam. The injection is made into the carpal tunnel in the wrist and research shows that ultrasound can be used to improve a physicians ability to position the needle so that the risk of injury to the median nerve is minimized and the steroids reach the carpal tunnel without injuring nearby tissue.
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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Ways To Ease Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Without Surgery
If youve ever experienced pain, numbness, or tingling in your hands youre not alone. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common cause of loss of function and pain in peripheral nerves due to chronic compression, otherwise known as entrapment neuropathy. Luckily, there are several ways to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome so you can get back to living your life on your terms.
Choose The Best Carpal Tunnel Doctor In Your Area
Finally, hand surgery obviously is very delicate. When it goes right youll probably be satisfied. However, so many things could go wrong andcomplicationscan arise. That inevitably results in absolute misery.
When searching for the best carpal tunnel doctor, make sure he or she offers the latest diagnoses and treatment plans. Most importantly, check that the doctor has extensive experience with hand issues. You want a doctor who has successfully treatedthousandsof carpal tunnel syndrome patients, not just a hundred. Yes, youll surelypay extrafor a high-rated carpal tunnel doctor. But your hand is worth every penny.
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Signs It S Time To See A Doctor For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Health Enews
What kind of doctor for carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome depending on the cause of symptoms can be treated by an orthopedic surgeon a neurologist a rheumatologist or other primary care physician specializing in hand wrist and arm issues. American College of Rheumatology. These tests will measure how.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons OrthInfo. This will release the pressure on the median nerve to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. El syndrome Tendinopathy Congenital hand deformity.
Flexor tendon repair surgery Hand surgery Hand reconstruction Nerve entrapment Carpal tunnel syndrome Cubital tunn. Carpal tunnel occurs when pressure on the median nerve a nerve that passes through wrist causes pain numbness and weakness in the hand. A hand doctor or other surgeon with experience and expertise in carpal tunnel surgery should meet these requirements.
Perform a physical exam. When these measures are ineffective an orthopedic surgeon can perform a procedure to relieve pressure on the median. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mayo Clinic.
Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Your doctor also will look for signs of carpal tunnel syndrome such as smaller weaker muscles in your fingers and hands. More Tips from House Call Doctor.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Mayo Clinic. Joshua Grahlman PT DPT FAFS is the Founder and Chief.
Do I Have Carpal Tunnel
Carpal tunnel, or median nerve compression, is a numbness, tingling or weakness in the hand and arm caused by a pinched nerve or pressure on your median nerve. Carpal tunnel can be caused by over-use or repetitive motions and is more commonly seen in women . Carpal tunnel is caused by a lack of space and blood flow to the median nerve area causing numbness and radiating pain in the hand, wrist and forearm area. Over time, carpal tunnel can also affect hand strength and ability to grasp things with the hand effectively. This can affect your ability to do daily activities.
There is a higher incidence of having carpal tunnel as we age, peaking in patients that are 50 or 60 years of age. There is also a strong correlation with patients that have a higher body mass index . Other risk factors include: Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy.
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