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Getting pain in hands. Have carpal tunnel syndrome. Do I need surgery?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
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Hi! I am in a job where I pick up 200to300 6 gallon bottles of water. Lately my hands hurt really bad. A couple of years ago my hand caught in a machine and since then I have had a lot of problems with my hands hurting. What should I do. I know I have carpel tunnel. But I don't want to have surgery.
Posted Thu, 28 Mar 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Achuo Ascensius 2 hours later

Thanks for the query.

The fact that you already are aware of the cause of the problem is already a good step in knowing what options you have.

Just to be sure its carpal tunnel syndrome, the pain you feel should have been of progressive onset at your wrist extending to your fingers, accompanied by numbness of fingers and weakness of the hands and as time passes these symptoms become more frequent and permanent (fingers involved are first 4 fingers excluding the small finger).
Carpal tunnel is caused by irritation of the median nerve at a canal in front of the wrist and this has been associated with repeated flexing of the wrist there by exerting pressure on the nerve. Am afraid your job which consist of picking up bottles might be the predisposing factor in you having carpal tunnel syndrome through repeated flexing.

However, for the diagnosis to be confirmed, a few tests would be done including an x-ray to exclude arthritis, fractures etc and nerve conduction test to see if nervous conduction is affected across the wrist.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment options will be based on the severity of your symptoms. Mild to moderate symptoms generally will be controlled by reducing predisposing factors (such as change in job type, loosing weight if obese, controlling your sugar level if diabetic etc), use of vitaminB6, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and infiltration of the carpal tunnel with corticosteroids. If the symptoms are however severe, surgery will be needed to prevent permanent damage of your median nerve.

So, what you could do to reduce the symptoms are:
-get more frequent rest of the wrist
-could do night splinting of wrist
-Get your doctor to prescribe vitamin B6, non steroidal anti-inflammatory and to inject corticosteroids into the carpal tunnel.

I hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to help.


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