Orthopedic Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 24. April 2017 11:36

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or median nerve entrapment is a condition that affects the functionality of hand. Median nerve passes from the forearm to the hand via a small passage known as carpal tunnel. It is responsible for providing sensation to the palm, thumb and three fingers of the hand. Any pressure upon the nerve may lead to this condition and cause the hand to function improperly.

Causes

  • Hereditary - Some people may have anatomic differences in the shape of their carpal tunnel leading to this condition. The trait can be running in various generations.  
  • Overuse Of Hand Muscles - Repeated use of hand and wrist may lead to inflammation of the tendons which puts pressure on the nerves.
  • Hand’s positions – Continuous flexion and extension of the wrist muscles may compress the median nerve.
  • Pregnancy – Hormonal changes during this period may be responsible for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Medical Conditions – Certain conditions like Arthritis, thyroid imbalance, Diabetes may also be responsible for the dysfunction of wrist.

Symptoms

  • Pain radiating towards the forearm.
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in thumb, index, middle and ring fingers.
  • Weakness in the hands.
  • Difficulty in gripping objects.
  • Stiffness in the fingers, specifically in the morning.

Diagnosis

  • Physical Examination – The doctor may apply pressure with hand or a finger at the position of the nerve and check whether the patient feeling any numbness or not. He may also look for any kind of atrophy at the base of the thumb and fingers.
  • Imaging Tests – To have a clearer picture of the condition and to eliminate the possibility of other disorders, the doctor may recommend certain imaging tests.
  • Electrophysiological Tests – These diagnostic tests include nerve conduction studies and electromyography. They let the doctor know about how well is the median nerve working and responding to the normal stimuli.
  • X-rays – If a patient has limited wrist motion, the doctor may recommend an X-ray test. I will allow the doctor to view all the bony structures of the hand.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - This test may be suggested by the doctor to visualize the surrounding tissues, ligaments and tendons.

Treatment –

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • The orthopedic doctor may ask the patients to wear braces or splints, so that the affected area could be immobilized for some time. This may help to remove the pressure from the nerve.
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may be suggested by the doctors to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Modification in activities that lead to worsening of pain may also be suggested.
  • Exercise that may help to restore the mobility of wrist may also be recommend by the doctors. E.g. Nerve gliding exercises.

Surgical Treatment

  • Open Carpal Tunnel Release – In this procedure the orthopedic surgeon may make a small incision in patient’s wrist and cut the ligament forming the root of carpal tunnel. This may widen the tunnel and reduce pressure on the median nerve.
  • Endoscopy - The orthopedic surgeon may make one or two small incisions over the wrist and insert a small camera called endoscope into the affected area. After visualizing the extent of damage the surgeon may transversally divide the carpal tunnel and broaden it to reduce pressure from the nerve.

For complete treatment and diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, contact Dr. Knoll. To request an appointment with the hand and wrist specialist, call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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Non-surgical Treatments For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 23. September 2015 09:20

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome occurs when the median nerve gets compressed from where it passes through the carpal tunnel in the wrist joint. The condition can be caused due to repetitive movements of the wrist, health conditions such as Diabetes or Arthritis, deformity in joint structure, fluid retention during pregnancy etc. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is symptomized by numbness, stiffness in fingers, pain in the forearm, difficulty in using the thumb, loss of range of motion of the wrist etc.

Treatment for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome usually depends upon the severity and cause of the condition. Here are some of the non-surgical options usually recommended for the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

  • Wrist Splint: Providing support to the wrist with a splint or cast can assist in healing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The splint provides support to the wrist and holds it in a stable position. This protects the joint from any jerky movement that many further aggravate the condition. The patient may also be advised to wear the splint while sleeping to prevent nocturnal symptoms such as tingling and numbness.
  • Medication: The patient may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to offer relief from pain and swelling.
  • Injections: The orthopedic doctor may prescribe injections for patients experiencing severe pain. When administered directly into the carpal tunnel, injections help to eliminate swelling, which lowers the pressure on the median nerve.
  • Activity Modification: The patient may need to take a break from the job if it involves heavy use of the wrist. This can prevent the condition from worsening and promote a speedier recovery.
  • Ice Pack: The doctor may advise applying ice pack to the affected area. This can assist in reducing inflammation and offer relief to the wrist.
  • Rest: Avoiding activities that require repetitive movement or excessive use of the wrist can also be beneficial. The doctor may recommend giving complete rest to the affected wrist and refraining of any strenuous movements.
  • Physical Therapy: Once the pain and swelling subside, the orthopedic surgeon may refer the patient to a physical therapist. Performing light stretching and strengthening exercises, under proper supervision, can help to restore the range of motion of the wrist joint.

For comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, visit Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the wrist doctor in Plano, TX, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 21. January 2015 10:58

If you spend most of your time performing activities that involve repetitive and forceful movements of the hand or wrist, you are at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The condition is caused as a result of excessive strain on the median nerve in the wrist. This can be due to constant knitting, driving, working on computers or with small instruments. However, by following certain prevention tips, you can easily reduce the chances of developing the condition. Some of these are:

  • While performing certain activities, many people tend to insert more force than is actually required. For instance, while writing, use a big sized pen with a grip adapter and free flowing ink. With this, you do not have to hold it tightly or press hard on the paper.
  • Try taking short breaks by gently stretching and bending your arms, wrist and hands. Switch tasks after frequent intervals, if possible. If you work with vibrating equipment that requires greater force, taking breaks is yet more important.
  • You should also maintain a proper posture by sitting or standing erect. Do not bring your shoulders forward while sitting. This can compress and put pressure on your neck muscles that also affects your wrist, hands and fingers.
  • Avoid bending your wrist at extreme positions. If you work on a keyboard, make sure you keep it in line with your elbow or a little lower. If possible, try to have an ergonomic workstation to prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Also, you should try to hold objects with the help of your whole hand rather than using just the fingers.
  • If your hands stay cold most of the time, you are at a higher risk of experiencing pain and stiffness in them. People working in a cold setting should always keep their hands and wrists warm by wearing fingerless gloves.
  • You can also consider wearing a splint to keep the wrist at an optimal position and preventing discomfort. The splint can be worn both at day time and at night, depending upon when you need it the most.
  • Some medical conditions, such as Arthritis and Diabetes, may increase the chances of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thus, one should sustain a healthy lifestyle by exercising, controlling weight and avoiding smoking to minimize the risk.

For complete diagnosis and treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Frisco, TX, consult Dr. Knoll. To schedule an appointment with the wrist specialist, you can call at (214) 618-5502.

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Sports Injuries To The Hand And Wrist

by Administrator 15. May 2014 10:39

People who take up sports as their profession often receive injuries to their hands and wrist, as these are the areas that face the maximum stress and strain. The type and extent of those injuries depend on a variety of different factors, including the kind of sports the affected person plays, their age, level of participation and their fitness regimes. Some of these injuries can be treated merely with a period of rest while others require more aggressive treatment or might even require surgery.

By taking a look at the most common sport injuries to the hand and wrist, it becomes clear that they can be grouped into various categories based on the seriousness of the injury and the areas affected.

Sprains

Sprains are usually the most common sports injuries. A sprain is damage to a particular ligament which causes pain and reduces mobility. In many situations, sportsmen can find themselves in a position where there is excessive pressure on the hand or wrist, which causes the ligaments to be abnormally distended and causes a sprain. Usually, a wrist doctor would treat sprains with the application of ice packs, a period of rest and prescription of painkillers after carefully examining the affected area.

Tendon Injuries

Tendon related injuries are common in sports and one of the most commonly found tendon injuries sportsmen have been seen to be affected with is Tennis Elbow. A Tennis Elbow is a condition where the tendon on the outside region of the forearm starts to fail due to swelling or detachment. Many people are also affected by tendonitis, a swelling of the tendon resulting from repeated motion and stress. Another similar condition is Carpal Tunnel syndrome, a condition of the wrist where swollen tendons put pressure on the median nerve inside the carpal tunnel, resulting in pain and loss of mobility. You should consult an orthopedic doctor if you experience any unusual discomfort or pain in your hand or wrist.

Fractures

Impact to bones in the hand and wrist is a major possibility with many sports, which results in the occurrence of bone injuries and fractures. One place which is extremely vulnerable to fractures is the metacarpals- the area of the hand which attaches to the knuckles and the phalanges- the bones located between finger joints. The scaphoid bone in the wrist, which can be affected during falls or collisions which involve the wrist, is also prone to fractures. More serious cases of fracture that can result from impact damage are cases where the radius or upper arm gets broken. There can also be dislocation of finger and shoulder joints and need proper diagnosis and treatment by an orthopedic surgeon.

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Orthopedic Treatment For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

by Administrator 21. April 2014 08:58

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is an extremely painful condition of the arm caused by overuse of the elbow joint. In this condition the ulnar nerve gets stressed, compresses or swollen near the elbow area. It causes pain, discomfort, numbness and loss of mobility. Apart from heavy use of the elbow joint, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can also occur as a result of impact damage to the Cubital Tunnel near the elbow.

Causes

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is most often causes by repetitive motion. The ulnar nerve actually stretches and flexes quite a bit when the elbow joint is bent. Too much of repetitive bending of the elbow can cause strain on the nerve and form the beginnings of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome. Situations where there is a constant pressure on the elbow joint can also be a major cause for this condition. Finally, Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can also be caused by impact damage resulting from accidents and falls.

Symptoms

One of the main symptoms that manifest when people have Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a numbness of the hand. The first stages of the condition result in considerable numbness on the internal areas of the hand like the ring finger or the little fingers and underlying areas on the palm. The numbness can gradually give way to extreme pain particularly when the elbow joint is moved or bent.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome can be diagnosed with the help of a detailed physical examination and some special tests. The standard test which is used to detect this condition is called the nerve conduction velocity test which measures the speed at which impulses are transmitted along the length of the nerve. This can sometimes be coupled with an electromyogram test for accurate diagnosis.

In less severe cases non-surgical treatment might be all that is needed. It is recommended to stop the activity that might cause the condition to worsen and to give your arm adequate rest. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for pain management. Your wrist doctor might prescribe the use of a brace or support to relieve pressure from the elbow joint. Working with a physical therapist and getting targeted exercise and rest can also prove crucial in this line of treatment.

With more serious cases of Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, surgery might prove to be the only option. There are different procedures which can be used to relieve the pressure from the ulnar nerve through surgery. The most commonly used technique involves surgical transposition of the ulnar nerve followed by post-operative rehabilitation.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

by Administrator 17. December 2013 11:59

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful and relatively common disorder associated with the wrist. According to wrist doctors in Plano, this syndrome is caused when the median nerve, which is key nerve responsible for the movement of thumb muscles, gets compressed. The compression of median nerve causes the insulation on the nerve to wear out which results in pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the hand and wrist.

Causes:

The specific cause of Carpal Tunnel syndrome is difficult to determine, but there are many factors that can be held responsible for the development of this disorder. Some of such factors are:

  • Health conditions: It is believed that health conditions like type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout hypothyroidism, obesity etc. can lead to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Family History: According to Plano wrist doctors, people with a family history of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are at a greater risk of developing this disorder.
  • Pregnancy: Carpal tunnel is commonly found in pregnant women. However, in most cases the disorder lasts only for a short time and gets resolved after the child is born.
  • Injuries: Research has shown that the injuries like fractures and sprain can cause extreme pressure on the median nerve which may lead to the prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Other factors: The evidence suggests that there may be other factors like development of cyst; repetitive and forceful arm and finger movements, alcohol abuse etc. that may trigger the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Symptoms:

Symptoms usually vary with the severity of condition. Some of the common symptoms, however, are listed below:

  • Intense pain in the wrist and hand
  • Swelling in the area
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the wrist
  • Inability to move hand
  • Change in the skin color of wrist and hand
  • Dryness in skin
  • Difficulty while griping an object

Treatment:

The wrist doctors may perform several physical, blood and imaging tests to determine the exact cause and severity of condition. The treatment recommended most often include:

  • Non-surgical: The orthopedic doctors may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain and swelling. Acupuncture, stretching and strengthening exercises may also be recommended to restore the flexibility and movement of wrist.
  • Surgery: If the symptoms last for more than 6 months, the doctor may recommend carpal tunnel release surgery. Open release and endoscopic surgeries are the two procedures used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome.

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