According to orthopaedic experts, the use of tech devices is leading to a rise in carpal tunnel syndrome

by Liz Bonis, WKRC


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CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Doctors are seeing a rise in wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, as a result of spending a significant amount of time using technology.


Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is on the rise, especially in younger people, according to orthopedic surgeons. But that’s not the only thing likely influenced by how much time people are spending on phones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices.


William Sommerville has had both of his wrists operated on for carpal tunnel. Eventually, his pain got so bad that hand surgeon Dr. Patrick Messerschmitt had to replace the joints in both of Sommerville’s wrists.


“It was hard to squeeze or pick up anything and hold on to it tight. If I tried to lift something, it would pull or it would hurt, but other than that, it’s doing real good now,” Sommerville said. “Yeah, you can’t use your hands, you got nothing.”


Lately, Dr. Messerschmitt said time spent using hands-on technology has led to a sharp rise in hand-related injuries in those who are younger.


“A lot of carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger fingers, a lot of tendonitis,” Dr. Messerschmitt said.


Quite often, a person must have the carpal tunnel released to ease the pain.


“Carpel tunnel release is a procedure where a small incision is made at the wrist level, and the ligament that is holding our nerve down is released and opened, and it improves our blood flow and deceases our symptoms,” Dr. Messerschmitt said.


To reduce the odds that technology will lead to the need for surgery, he suggests people reduce their force and relax their grip on a keyboard, take breaks and stretch their wrists, ask to see a physical therapist or acupuncturist if the hands or wrists start to hurt, and use hands-free devices or talk-to-text technology whenever possible.


Early intervention is the key to more treatment options.


To learn more about Dr. Messerschmitt, and other OrthoCIncy physicians, click HERE.