laptop-user-2-1241187Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is the most common nerve compression disorder of the hand, affecting about one percent of the general population and as much as five percent of the working population, most of whom endure constant repetitive use of the hands and wrists in the workplace. Surgical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is the most frequent surgery of the hand and wrist in the U.S. with 463,637 cases reported annually. Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur and Dominic Mintalucci M.D. see a great number of CTS cases at the SRO Hand Center, and they report that early intervention is the key to successful treatment.

What Causes CTS?

It is believed that genetics may play a part in the onset of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in some people, due to the incidence of smaller carpal tunnels in those cases. Although commonly attributed to minute repetitive motions, no official link to CTS has been established, although repetitive motion is well known to instigate conditions such as bursitis or tendonitis – both of which can also result in pain in the same area. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often the result of a combination of factors that serve to increase pressure on the median nerve and tendons in the carpal tunnel over time. Some known contributing factors may also include;

  • wrist injury that results in swelling
  • overactive pituitary gland
  • hypothyroidism
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • joint issues
  • stress
  • repetitive use of vibrating hand tools
  • fluid retention
  • cysts or tumors

“For patients who complain of pain, tingling and numbness in the wrist and hand – and in order to avoid permanent damage to the median nerve – early diagnosis and treatment is extremely important,” says Dr. Mazur. In most cases early treatments include; resting the wrist for a minimum of two weeks while avoiding all activities that might exacerbate the condition. During this time the wrist is typically immobilized in a splint to avoid further damage, and cool packs are prescribed to reduce swelling.

A variety of drugs from over-the-counter pain relievers to diuretics and cortisteroids may be prescribed for pain and swelling – depending on symptoms and the patient’s overall health. Vitamin B6 supplements have been shown to ease the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in some people. Following initial treatment and after symptoms abate, physical therapy exercises will be recommended to help to stretch and strengthen the affected arm – a measure that both relieves symptoms and helps to avoid future flare-ups.

“Fortunately for most of our patients, the symptoms of tingling and numbness are alleviated with standard treatments,” explains Dr. Mintalucci. “With early intervention, normal wrist and hand function is fully restored in most patients.”

The Hand Center

by Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur and Dr. Mintalucci

by Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur and Dr. Mintalucci

The Hand Center at SRO is led by two respected, highly rated surgeons: Dr. Kai-Uwe Mazur, SRO Hand Center Medical Director and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Dominic Mintalucci who provide state-of-the-art medical care in a friendly and compassionate environment using a team treatment model that focuses on diagnostics and meticulous surgical details.