For many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), surgical release is too often the only discussed option for treatment. Why is this? How medical doctors are taught, as well as what is read, drives many to their decisions.
So what does the medical literature actually say? A recent article published in a scientific journal (Adv Tech Stand Neurosurg 2007;32:175-249) may provide some perspective.
The paper is titled, "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome-a comprehensive review."
Unfortunately, the "comprehensive" review pretty much only discusses the surgical approach to this most difficult problem. The conclusion states, "Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome requires meticulous attention to history-taking, investigation, counseling, training and surgical technique if unsatisfactory results and complications are to be avoided."
The authors are to be commended for providing a sober perspective on the potential outcome and pitfalls of surgery for CTS.
The part that makes me feel this review is very incomplete, is that chiropractic care is not discussed. That is too often '"to be expected."
But, patients deserve to be told their many options for care, including alternatives to surgery such as chiropractic care. When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.
So, that is what this Health Update is all about, a chance for you to consider surgical alternatives. No one doctor has all the answers but it's important to hear the various perspectives so you can make an informed decision.
Our office always offers complementary consultations. You can come by for a visit, tour our facility and ask any questions you may have. I want to explain the various types of techniques we use to address carpal tunnel symptoms. Sometimes the neck is involved, affecting the nerves that go to the hand and wrist. This is called the double-crush syndrome, and is often overlooked by providers who only examine the wrist for the cause of the wrist and hand symptoms. If your neck was injured in a whiplash or sports trauma, this may be one aspect of your health that has not yet been addressed. By adjusting the problem in the neck region, the nerves to the wrist may function more normally.