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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Carpal Tunnel

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [posted 8/13/98]
Question: Is carpal tunnel syndrome an injury, a disease, or a sickness?

Answer: It is due to compression of the medial nerve as it passes through the "carpal tunnel". Usually referred to as a syndrome.

Surgery Alternatives
Question: What choices do I have besides having surgery for carpal tunnel? I heard that casting the hands helps?

Answer: There are some options. First, check your thyroids to ensure that either thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus isn't the causal factor. Occasionally, treatment with help without surgery. Second, try some nocturnal carpal tunnel splints. This can prevent surgery for several years. In general, surgery is not performed unless there is marked nerve impingement, loss of strength or progressive numbness.

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