What's New and Noteworthy

Surgery is more Effective Than Splints for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is an extremely common diagnosis in any office that treats musculoskeletal problems.

I have written elsewhere that sometimes it seems as if there is an epidemic of carpal tunnel syndrome. There are many forms of treatment of this problem, it is not our purpose to discuss all the forms of treatment in this brief article.

In a large study of 317 patients it was found that surgery is much more likely than splinting to relieve pain, numbness and muscle weakness.

I have used splinting often in patients whose symptoms seem to be mild or in which surgery for some reason is not an option.

There is no doubt that in many patients it can help, however in most cases it does not cure the carpal tunnel syndrome.

That is not to say that splinting would be wrong to try in most cases to see if it might be effective.

In most moderate to severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome surgery is needed to relieve the problem.