1) Why do I still have some numbness or tingling in my fingers after carpal tunnel release?
Answer: This persistent numbness or tingling could have several different causes. Sometimes the nerve is compressed in other areas of the forearm, arm or neck. If this is the case, a simple carpal tunnel release may not completely relieve the symptoms. Other times, if the carpal tunnel syndrome is moderate to severe, the nerve has been compressed for a long period of time and can take up to 12 months to improve. Sometimes it may not ever be perfect. Rarely, there can be an incomplete release of the ligament during surgery.
2) Is it OK to crack my knuckles?
Answer: Cracking your knuckles has been shown NOT to cause or advance arthritis of the fingers. It is now considered safe.
3) I fractured my wrist. How long is the recovery process?
Answer: With or without surgery, the recovery period is often 6 to 12 months. You will often have some residual stiffness and swelling, some of which will be permanent. Typically, you can do whatever you want to do by three months after the injury. However, it takes a while for the strength to return and the swelling and achiness to work itself out.
This week, orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Berschback will be attending the 71st Annual Meeting of the ASSH (American Society for Surgery of the Hand) in Austin, Texas. This meeting occurs once a year and many hand surgeons from across the country travel to this conference to learn about new and innovative topics in hand surgery. The meeting begins on Tuesday, September 27th with various speakers, retreats, and receptions for surgeons to partake in, and ending on Saturday, October 1st.
To learn more about this annual meeting, click here.
“When I treat wrist fractures, I tend to be much more conservative in my treatment plan with older patients. We know from many studies that the x-ray appearance is not as important the older the patient is. I do tend to recommend surgery much more frequently in younger patients with more active lifestyles. I try to treat the patient and not just the x-ray.”
Click on the link below to read an article about wrist fractures in patients 65 years and older. It is a well written article and a well-designed study. The main take-home point from the article is that as long as the bones are reasonably aligned after a wrist fracture, a patient 65 and older can expect a very good functional outcome without surgery.
Operative vs Nonoperative Distal Radius Fracture »