Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome are on the rise, have doubled in last five years, say doctors

cts

CTS is a medical condition which is caused due to compression of the median nerve in the wrist and the symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling in fingers and twitching (involuntary) as well.(PHOTO FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE ONLY)

Cases of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) are on rise and have doubled in the last five years, claim doctors. Reason—excessive usage of smart phones and laptops. CTS is a medical condition which is caused due to compression of the median nerve in the wrist and the symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling in fingers and twitching (involuntary) as well.

Giving details about the same, city doctors claimed that, earlier the trend was seen mostly in older age group but now it is shifting in younger population as well. “We saw complaints coming from people above 40 years of age but now it is mainly seen in a population between 20 and 30 years of age. Reason is over use of smart phones and laptops. Besides that, earlier we hardly carried out two surgical procedures in a month to correct this syndrome but now we are doing four to five surgeries to treat CTS which again shows that the number has doubled in the last few years,” said Dr Ramesh Ranka, director, Ranka hospital. He also warned that such symptoms are also commonly found in those who suffer from diabetes and hyperthyroidism and hence when the patient comes to us, we also perform a blood sugar test and thyroid function test to rule out these disorders as well only to avoid misdiagnosis.

Whereas Dr Parag Sancheti, chairman of Sancheti hospital said, “CTS cases have doubled in the last five years for sure. We are seeing more patients in the younger age group too. If the compression in median nerve is not treated early, it can lead to surgical intervention. Many a times, people tend to ignore the early signs and end up for the surgical procedure. This syndrome can be treated well if the patient comes early where along with proper drugs, physiotherapy, wrist band and other exercises, patients can lead a normal life.”

“Besides this, it is important to know that only 30 per cent of those who suffer from CTS end up requiring surgery and hence many can be treated with proper therapies. Not only this but many a times CTS is often misdiagnosed as cervical nerves also get compressed and often tend to mimic the same symptoms as it has similar pathology. So to avoid that proper diagnosis is extremely important for better treatment,” he said.

Similarly, Dr Reena Valecha, occupational therapist and ergonomic specialist, also claimed that more of the ‘millennials’ are coming with this syndrome. “The trend is picking up rapidly where many youngsters are turning up but at a stage where the severity has increased. Many a times due to increased severity in the hand, one has to end up undergoing a surgery but to avoid that we always stress on picking up warning signs early. Like tingling sensation, numbness in fingers, pain in wrist mainly in night hours etc; all can be symptoms of this syndrome. Also most of the times, the symptoms worsen because of ‘over texting’. This too can be avoided with proper lifestyle modifications.”

Source: This article was first published on Hindustan Times