A few years ago, I decided to take up running. I was bad at it at first, but after a few months, I got more comfortable. Unfortunately, right when I got good at running, I developed a bad pain in my left foot. At first, I decided to push past the pain, but it quickly became excruciating. I realized that it might be a good idea to talk with a doctor about my problem, and so I met with an orthopedist. He carefully watched my gait as I ran, and he decided to take some images to check out my bone health. It turned out that I had developed a stress fracture, and my doctor recommended surgery. This blog is all about ways that an orthopedist can help you, so that you can enjoy your hobbies.
If you sit and type all day for work, you may think you aren't at risk for injury. However, repetitive amounts of typing can lead to a repetitive strain injury (RSIs) called carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are experiencing pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in your forearm, wrist, or fingers, you should visit a doctor to see if you may be suffering from this RSI. Read on to learn more about carpal tunnel syndrome, how to treat it, and how an orthopedic surgeon can help.
What Causes This RSI?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in your wrist that holds the flexor tendons that bend your fingers and thumbs. This passageway also holds and protects the median nerve, which helps you with fine motor functions and helps you experience sensation in your hands. If your carpal tunnel becomes swollen, then it can actually press on the median nerve and cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you type at a desk and don't have ergonomic furniture or keyboards, then your wrists could be bending in unrelaxed, awkward positions throughout the day, which could then cause the carpal tunnel to become irritated. Symptoms are usually gradual, so some people may not realize they have carpal tunnel syndrome until tissues are really swollen.
How Can You Treat the Problem?
It's a good idea to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis first. He or she may perform an electromyography test to measure the electrical activity in your median nerve. If you have mild carpal tunnel syndrome, your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication, ice packs, and massage.
At work, you may need to wear splints on your wrists to ease your pain. Be sure to take breaks to stretch out your arms. You may also want to invest in better furniture and an ergonomic keyboard so that you don't develop repeat injuries.
If these kinds of changes don't help, and you keep having symptoms for months, your doctor may recommend seeing an orthopedic surgeon for a minimally invasive surgery.
How Can an Orthopedic Surgeon Help?
When people think of orthopedic surgeons, they may think of major surgeries for knee and hip replacements. However, an orthopedic surgeon can also perform what's known as a carpal tunnel release surgery. This surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery — only your wrist and hand need to have local anesthetic, and you can return home after surgery if you are in good health.
During this type of surgery, your doctor will make small incisions in ligaments and the carpal tunnel. Once these excisions have been made, the median nerve will no longer be compressed. This surgery can reduce any pain you may experience and restore function to your wrist and fingers. You may need to wear a bandage or splint for a couple of weeks during healing.
Contact an orthopedic surgeon in your area for more information.Share