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Arthritis and Rheumatism

What Are Some Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Other Than Splints?

12/19/2007

Question:

I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome before in both hands. This week I have the same feeling in my left hand. I also feel numbness, pins and needles, and pain in my thumb, index finger and middle finger. I tried to wear the new resting splint for that hand that my OT gave me but when I put it on the pins and needles get very bad and then the pain increases in my thumb and it feels like my thumb is about to burst oepn from the pressure. They are not swollen any more than normal but with the resting splint it feels like it is. I even unfastened all the straps on the splint to make sure they were not to tight but it still was the same. What other treatments are there for CTS when you can`t wear the splints?

Answer:

Other therapeutic options for carpal tunnel syndrome besides wrist splints include off-label use of gabapentin or pregabalin or other analgesic medication, corticosteroid injection to the carpal tunnel, or surgical release of the carpal tunnel. If your Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is active, particularly in the wrists, this may lead to narrowing of the carpal tunnel. In this scenario, enhancing RA treating may also be helpful.

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Response by:

Raymond  Hong, MD, MBA, FACR Raymond Hong, MD, MBA, FACR
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University