Updated: Oct 25, 2022
At ReGenesis Clinic, our COO Marketing, Corey has spent the last 40 years playing piano. Pianists are just one group susceptible to developing carpel tunnel syndrome. People with any job or activity that demands repetitive movements of the fingers and wrist, awkward hand movements, vibration, and/or mechanical stress on the palm increases the risk for developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The occupations associated with CTS tend to emphasize strong tugging, pulling, pushing, or twisting movements.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of your hand. When the median nerve is compressed, the symptoms can include numbness, tingling and weakness in the hand and arm.
Do you have numbness, burning and tingling in your hands? Is the pain worse at night? Does the loss of grip strength make it difficult to hold things? Is it getting hard for you to do your job?
If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS.
What Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve that runs down the underside of the forearm becomes compressed as it passes through the wrist . If untreated, CTS often gets worse leading to chronic pain, difficulty sleeping and reduced employment opportunities.
Who Gets Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While CTS is often described as an over use injury, there are a variety of risk factors associated with the development of symptoms. You are more likely to develop CTS if you have a family history, are female, pregnant or have had a wrist injury. Illnesses including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid problems can also place you at risk.
How is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosed?
Establishing a diagnosis of CTS requires that your care provider review your symptoms and complete a physical exam. Based on the results, your health care provider may order an x-ray, electromyogram, and/or nerve conduction study, An ultrasound may also be helpful to identify swelling around the median nerve.
What Can Be Done To Improve The Symptoms?
The early symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are often treated conservatively. Patients maybe prescribed a combination of oral anti-inflammatory medications along with splinting and physiotherapy. Activity modifications designed to reduce symptoms are also recommended. Additional treatment options may include steroid injections and surgery.
New Treatment Option Now Available
In my work as a regenerative medicine specialist, I often see clients who struggle with carpal tunnel syndrome despite conservative treatment. While surgery is the right choice for some, it may not be right for others.
Thankfully, a new minimally invasive treatment is now available.
Hydrodissection For The Management of CTS
Hydrodissection is a minimally invasive, ultrasound guided, in-office procedure that involves injecting a solution made of dextrose and water into the space around the nerve. When injected, the solution expands the tissue and relieves pressure on the nerve (as seen below). Lidocaine is added to the solution to ensure that the procedure is pain free.
Patients experience immediate relief from their symptoms without any downtime. Many return to work the very same day.
Current research has identified that hydrodissection is a safe and effective treatment for the management of CTS, works better than cortisone injections, and is better than physiotherapy alone.
If you have CTS and are unsure about surgery, take a closer look at hydrodissection. It maybe right for you.