Monthly Archives: April 2018

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

April 23, 2018

cello player

Until about 75 years ago carpal tunnel syndrome, or CTS, was thought to be caused by the compression of structures in the frontal portion of the neck or from a network of nerves from the spinal cord, over the first rib, and into the armpit.  Today we recognize this condition of CTS as a compression of the median nerve travelling through the wrist. The carpal tunnel is a tiny passageway on the palm side of the wrist.

The cause of CTS continues to be a subject of debate. Typically, the common age range of patients with CTS is between 45 and 60 years of age.  CTS is less common in people under 30 years of age.  Untreated, CTS can lead to lack of coordination between the fingers and thumb along with weakness in the hand.

What are the most common symptoms in patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • Hands get numb, fall asleep
  • Loss of grip, dropping items
  • Tingling
  • Feeling of tightness or swelling

When might an individual most notice these symptoms?

  • Driving, painting, knitting, typing, writing
  • Waking during the middle of sleep with wrist pain, usually the dominant hand
  • Temperature changes, sensitivity to cold

How is CTS diagnosed?

A physician can typically diagnose CTS with a patient history, physical exam (usually focusing on the median nerve running from the forearm into the hand), x-ray, and possibly a nerve conduction study.

What are some home remedy treatments for relieving CTS?

  • Night wrist splints
  • Gentle shaking of the hand/wrist
  • Immerse the hand in warm water and gently flex

If home remedies do not provide relief, it may be time to see an orthopedic physician who specializes in treatment of the hand and wrist.  Hand therapy may be recommended with a Certified Hand Therapist. An anti-inflammatory (NSAID) may provide some relief.  Cortisone injections may provide a temporary reprieve of discomfort.  If conservative methods do not provide relief, minimally invasive surgery to remove a band of tissue in the wrist should provide relief.

CTS is a common condition treated at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates by our orthopedic specialists and hand therapists.  SOA offers same/next day appointments when needed at each of our three locations. The commitment of SOA is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

Source:  MedScape 3/22/16, CTS Quiz;  WebMD; Cleveland Clinic; AAOOS

This entry was posted in on April 23, 2018 by sarasotaAdmin.

THE GIFT OF GETTING BACK TO LIFE

April 9, 2018

Maggie W

Sarasota Orthopedic Associate’s Occupational Therapy Department continues celebrating National OT Month. To commemorate we are sharing a case study of one of our Occupational Therapy Star graduates.

Matthew exemplifies how Occupational Therapy can help patients get “back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life”, the SOA mission statement. Matthew is a 28 year old male who was injured at work as an Ocean Rescue Lifeguard. An injury to his cervical spine was a result from practicing dolphin dives as part of a work training exercise.  He experienced temporary paralysis in all four  extremities from his spinal cord compression and  underwent emergency surgery to fuse his neck from C3 to C5.

Matthew was then referred  for inpatient therapy immediately following his surgery to begin his long rehabilitation. Once stabilized, he was discharged home and referred to outpatient Occupational and Physical Therapy.  On his first visit at SOA, he presented as a very motivated, hopeful young man despite his multiple deficits.  His cervical spine was stabilized in a neck brace, and he was able to walk with a rolling walker.  He required assistance to stabilize his balance while his upper extremities were assessed.

The OT/PT team found Matthew to have limited range of motion of his arms, significant weakness, both gross motor and fine motor coordination deficits, and sensory deficits. Initially, Matthew was able to do his own basic self-care with extra time, utilizing adaptive equipment, like a reacher/grabber, shower chair, and grab bars. Basic functions of cutting food and driving were not possible and he was lucky enough to reside with his parents as he recovered.

After careful assessment of his strengths and deficits, his Occupational Therapist derived a plan of care to return him to independent living. Through Mathew’s diligence with his home exercise program and his motivation and positive outlook, he is now walking on his own and performing all of his self-care with improved efficiency.  His goal is to return to work, be able to paddle his rescue board out a quarter mile to a predestined location, dive down 20 feet, grab a handful of sand, and emerge a new, stronger man. Matthew wants to be ready to pursue his passion… rescuing others in need.  “I want to get back to doing what I love.”

Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy is available at all three locations. If you would like an appointment please go to our website at www.SOA.md to schedule online, or call us at 941.951.BONE. We are able to accommodate same day appointments when needed.

Vivian

Article submitted by Vivian Robinson, OT, CHT at SOA.

This entry was posted in on April 9, 2018 by sarasotaAdmin.

A REASON TO CELEBRATE

April 2, 2018

OT

April is National Occupational Therapy Month … that may not mean much to you now, but very likely it will someday in your future. This year’s theme is living life to its fullest! An Occupational Therapist can help with common upper extremity and hand conditions like arthritis, tendonitis, or repetitive strain which could limit you from doing the activities you enjoy.

So what does an Occupational Therapist do?

After assessing your condition in collaboration with your orthopedic physician, we establish a treatment plan to improve flexibility and strength, recommend and fabricate an orthosis to support the joints of the wrist, hand, or fingers to reduce pain/swelling during activities, and educate you on joint protection techniques to reduce wear and tear of the joints during daily activities.

An Occupational Therapist may also help with rehabilitation after traumatic injuries such as fractures and tendon/nerve injuries. Most important, they provide customized, one-on-one care to help you achieve the best outcome.

What training is required to become an Occupational Therapist? More than you think.  While master’s and doctoral degree programs are common, some colleges also offer combined bachelor and master’s degrees in occupational therapy. There is a focus on general anatomy, the nervous system, physiology, movement, activity, and trends in rehabilitation techniques. A certification process must also be completed before receiving state licensure.

AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) describes an OT visit as:

  • Individualized evaluation where patient goals are determined by patient and therapist
  • Customized intervention to improve ability to return to daily activity
  • Outcome evaluation to ensure goals are met, or, changes are made to the plan

If you have a physical condition keeping you from living life to its fullest, the Occupational Therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates can help. For an appointment, call 941.951.BONE or schedule through our website at www.SOA.md. We have locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice. Our mission is to get you back on your feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life.

This entry was posted in on April 2, 2018 by sarasotaAdmin.