Early Diagnosis Leads to Better Long-Term Outcomes
A news release from Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) offers recommendations for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, particularly with respect to the advantages of early and proactive diagnosis and treatment. Daniel Osei, MD, a hand surgeon at HSS commented, “When you think of carpal tunnel syndrome, it often brings to mind someone working on a computer keyboard and wearing a wrist splint. In reality, it can affect just about anyone.” In general, the damage from the condition becomes more difficult to reverse the longer it remains unaddressed. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve extending from the forearm to the palm through the carpal tunnel. Symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the hand and fingers. The condition affects women 2 to 3 times more frequently than men.
Dr. Osei continued: “It’s not uncommon for me to see patients who’ve had subtle pressure on their median nerve for decades, but the symptoms previously weren’t severe enough for them to pay much attention. When the condition goes on for that long and is finally diagnosed, it’s more difficult to restore normal hand function.” Treatment options include splints and cortisone injections, as well as outpatient surgery to remove the “roof” of the carpal tunnel to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Risk factors for developing the condition include injury or repetitive activity such as use of a computer keyboard, but also diabetes, underactive thyroid, and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Read more about Dr. Osei’s recommendations for treatment and management of carpal tunnel syndrome.
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