Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Frequently Asked Questions: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Here are some frequently asked questions related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Q: My doctor wants me to wear a wrist splint at night. How come? Nighttime is the one chance I get to rest my wrist – during sleep I’m certainly not straining my wrist, and the splint is annoying.

A: During the night, many people bend their wrists in awkward positions, so the symptoms of CTS can get worse. The splint will hold your wrist in a neutral position. Once you fall asleep, you won’t know the splint is there.

Q: I am a woman newly diagnosed with CTS. Of the people in my office who have CTS, all of them are women. Are women more likely to get CTS than men?

A: Studies indicate that more women than men get CTS, but the exact reason why is not known. It is suspected that hormonal changes that lead to fluid retention, such as the fluctuations that take place during PMS, pregnancy, and use of oral contraceptives, account for a lot of CTS cases in women. Among office workers, women may spend more hours typing – but, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more reported cases of CTS in women who work on assembly lines, operate machinery, and tend retail stores, than among women who type for a living.

Q: What type of specialist should I consult if I think I have CTS?

A: There is simply no substitute for an accurate diagnosis. Besides a family practitioner or internist, sufferers may consult an orthopedistneurologist, hand surgeon, rheumatologistphysiatrist, or a specialist in occupational medicine or sports injuries. If ultimately surgery is required, it will be done by an orthopedic surgeon or a hand surgeon.

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