Carpal Tunnel Syndrome : Orthopedic Treatment

by Administrator 30. October 2017 12:07

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an orthopedic condition characterized with numbness or tingling sensation in the hand and arm.  This happens when the median nerve gets compressed or squeezed. 

Median nerve is one of the main nerves in the hand passing through carpal tunnel at the wrist. This syndrome occurs when the tunnel gets narrowed or the synovium tissues surrounding the flexor tendons start swelling.

Causes:
One of the major causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is excessive pressure on the median nerve. This pressure may occur due to swelling or any other condition that makes the carpal tunnel smaller. Some other causes that may lead to this condition are:

  • Repetitive Hand Movements - Repeating similar wrist or hand movements for a long period of time may lead to swelling which puts pressure on the median nerve.
  • Nerve Damaging Condition – Most of the chronic illnesses, such as Diabetes and Arthritis, may increase the nerve damage risk leading to this syndrome.
  • Other Health Conditions – A few conditions, such as menopause, kidney failure and thyroid disorders exacerbate the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Alteration Of Body Fluids – Fluid retention can increase the pressure within carpal tunnel which thus affects the median nerve.
  • Excessive Smoking – People who smoke regularly are more prone to the syndrome as it reduces blood flow to the median nerve.

Symptoms:

In most cases, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome start gradually. However, as the condition worsens, the symptoms start to appear more often that before and may even persist for a much longer period. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Occasional tingling or 'pins-and-needles' sensation in the hand.
  • Pain in the forearm or wrist that awakens you at night.
  • Dropping off things due to weakness.
  • Numbness or pain in the arm, which gets worse while using wrist or hand.
  • Occasional shock-like sensations radiating to thumb and/or fingers except the little finger.

Treatment:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can often be relieved without any surgical treatment, if it is diagnosed and treated early. However, doctor may recommend surgery, when the symptoms are severe.

Non-Surgical Treatment

  • Bracing or splinting
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Nerve gliding exercises
  • Steroid injections

Surgical Treatment
The doctor may suggest surgery when the symptoms are severe. The surgical methods include:

  • Open carpal tunnel release
  • Endoscopic carpal tunnel release

We, at OrthoTexas, use surgical and non-surgical procedures to treat various orthopedic conditions including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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Arthritis Of The Thumb: Orthopedic Treatment

by Administrator 14. July 2017 19:50

Arthritis is an inflammatory disorder affecting the various joints in the body. Of the nearly hundred types of Arthritis, the most prevalent are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis.

The former is an autoimmune disorder and the joints usually affected are those of the hands and feet. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is an age-related degenerative disease leading to a destruction of the bones in the joints of hips, knees, and fingers. 

In Osteoarthritis, the cartilage covering the bones where they come together at the joint wears away with age; this causes friction between the bones as the joint moves and leads to eventual destruction of the joint. The damage to the joint might result in growth of new bone along the sides of the existing bone (bone spurs), which can produce noticeable lumps on the thumb joint.

Arthritis of the thumb is usually a case of Osteoarthritis. It is the basal joint of the thumb which is most commonly involved. It can severely impair the movement of the thumb and the various day to day activities which involve the use thumb.

Causes

  • Intense activities that stress the thumb joint unduly
  • Heredity or genetic predisposition
  • Age: Thumb Arthritis is common in people over 40 years of age
  • Gender: Women are more likely to be affected
  • Obesity
  • Lax ligaments of the thumb increase the risk of incidence
  • Pre-existing arthritic conditions in other joints may make a person more susceptible to Thumb Arthritis

Symptoms

  • Redness of the joint
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Lumpy presence at the joint
  • Pain - particularly during movement
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of strength in grip involving the thumb
  • Restricted/impaired movement

Diagnosis

  • Physical Examination – which may disclose swelling, tenderness, lumpy structures, etc apart from any creaking sound indicating bone friction when the joint is moved
  • X –Ray examination – it reveals the damage to the joint, reduction in joints pace, growth of bone spurs, etc
  • Analysis of the patient’s medical history and past injuries to the joint is any
  • Treatment    
  • Exercise the joint regularly
  • Application of ice packs several times a day
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed
  • Administration of medicinal substances to increase the lubrication of joints
  • Use of thumb splints to support the joint and restrict the movement of the joint while it heals
  • Surgical manipulation and realignment of the bones in the joint (Osteotomy)
  • Surgical removal of a wrist bone affecting the joint (Trapeziectomy)
  • Surgical fusion of the affected bones (Arthrodesis) to eliminate the grinding of one bone against another
  • Surgical reconstruction (Arthroplasty) of the joint using a graft
  • Casts/Splints may be used for one to two months after any surgical intervention
  • Post-surgical physiotherapy is mostly helpful

To know more about the treatment options available for Arthritis of the Thumb, kindly visit OrthoTexas. For an appointment, call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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