Radial Tunnel Syndrome: Orthopedic Flower Mound, TX

by Administrator 23. November 2015 12:36

Radial Tunnel Syndrome is a condition caused by an increased pressure on the radial nerve which runs from neck to the back of the upper arm. It occurs due to repetitive motions such as pushing, pulling, twisting, gripping of the hand or bending the wrist.

Risk Factors

  • People involved in activities involving strenuous wrist and forearm movements.
  • Athletes involved in contact sports such as soccer, rugby etc.
  • Poor muscle strength and flexibility.

Causes

  • Direct trauma or injury
  • Sudden twisting of the arm
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Hypothyroidism

Symptoms:

  • Severe pain at the top of the forearm or back of the hand
  • Muscle weakness in hands and arms
  • Lateral elbow tenderness
  • Pain that worsens when rotating the wrist

Diagnosis:

An orthopedic doctor may physically examine the patient to locate the damaged area of the nerve. He may ask about any medical history related to the condition. Tests such as Electromyography may be conducted to see if the forearm muscles are working properly. Nerve Conduction Velocity Test may also be performed to determine the severity of the condition.

Treatment:

  • Rest: The doctor may advise providing adequate rest to the affected area. He may also suggest the patient to discontinue the activities that can aggravate the symptoms.
  • Immobilization: Wearing splints provide support and limit the movement of the elbow joint. The doctor may also suggest wearing elbow pads to immobilize the joint.   
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Exercises: Specific exercises recommended by a physical therapist can help in strengthening muscles and restoring their flexibility. 
  • Heat and ice therapy: Ice packs may be applied at regular intervals to provide relief from pain and swelling. Heat pads may also offer relaxation to muscles.

If the symptoms persist for a longer time and non-surgical treatment do not provide relief, surgery may have to be performed. The procedure aims at relieving excessive pressure on the radial nerve through incisions along the outside of the elbow, down the forearm.

Prevention:

  • Warm up exercises: These are necessary before performing any strenuous activity such as playing football, soccer etc. as it helps  in reducing strain to the elbow  joint.
  • Protective equipment: Wear properly fitted and padded protective equipment such as elbow pads, slash guards etc. in order to prevent this condition.

For effective treatment of Radial Tunnel Syndrome, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctor in Flower Mound, TX, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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