Jeffrey Husband is a Hand Surgeon at TRIA Orthopedic Center. By the nature of his title, it’s often believed he only deals with people who have been involved in an accident…
"Many of the things that we treat are not related to trauma but are part of a degenerative or biological disorder that occurs over time," Husband explains.
A couple of the most common conditions he sees are tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome. Contrary to its name tennis elbow is not just for tennis players, it’s prevalent in around 2% of the population. "A painful but harmless condition, I think it’s important for patients to know that," he said. "It is not a condition that is going to cause them to be arthritic or lose motion or to lose function later on down the road."
Ultimately, in most patients tennis elbow will naturally heal within 18-months. "If they can tough it out in the majority of cases they will get better," Dr. Husband reasons. "Many people are unwilling to wait 18-months and therefore we do a lot of different things to treat it."
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, on the other hand, involves hand pain, numbness and tingling. "Pain is variable; some people have more pain than numbness. Some people have more numbness and have no pain at all," says Husband.
Known risk factors for carpal tunnel include obesity, aging and positive family history…and our culture has come to believe computer use is a risk. Husband isn't necessarily a believer. "That has never been shown to be the case and there now at least 4-studies in the literature that clearly show that using a computer does not cause carpal tunnel syndrome."
That's the good news. The bad? There’s not a lot of preventative measures one can take. "Many of the things that we see our going to occur independent of what we do," Husband insists. "I would just encourage people to use their hands and live their lives."
If you think you have carpal tunnel or tennis elbow get an evaluation from your primary care provider. If you have a more immediate concern, TRIA offers Orthopedic Urgent Care.