Freehold, NJ, June 26, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- Chronic hand pain must not be ignored, advised Dr. James F. Cozzarelli, an orthopedic surgeon, during a lecture on carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) on May 15 at the Health Awareness Center on CentraState’s Ambulatory Campus in Freehold, New Jersey. There was a good turnout of community members for the discussion of this syndrome, which affects about 10% of the population representing adults of all ages. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a leading cause of work disability, costing employers, insurers, and taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
The carpal tunnel is a narrow tunnel of bone and ligament in which tendons and the median nerve travel from the wrist to the hand. Because the tunnel is narrow, the nerve housed within it can become squeezed by the surrounding tendons if they swell from overuse or injury. CTS may be caused by arthritis, fluid retention due to pregnancy or menopause, hypothyroidism due to a cyst or tumor growing in the tunnel, wrist injury due to repetitive hand motions, and more. That is why CTS affects people of all ages and backgrounds. The audience was surprised to learn that carpal tunnel problems are often hereditary. Some people are born with very narrow carpal tunnels and therefore are more prone to experiencing hand pain from CTS. Women are more likely to develop this condition, probably because their carpal tunnels are smaller than those of men. Patients with diabetes or other metabolic disorders which may cause swelling are also at risk of developing CTS. People engaged in assembly line work often develop CTS, although repetitive hand motions can also cause bursitis and tendonitis.
Dr. Cozzarelli stressed that individuals who experience persistent hand pain but seek early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the most serious consequences of CTS. Often patients are reluctant to see a doctor, thinking that the pain will eventually subside or that the doctor will immediately recommend surgery. However, left untreated, the median nerve could be irreparably damaged and the muscle could atrophy from disuse, leaving the hand severely and permanently disabled. After reviewing some non-surgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication, injections and splinting, Dr. Cozzarelli explained surgical procedures such as carpal tunnel release, which is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. “Patients are amazed at how quickly they’re able to use their hands again without pain, especially given the fact that, without treatment, CTS can be permanently disabling.”
Dr. James F. Cozzarelli is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in arthroscopy, total joint replacement, and fracture and trauma care. He earned his MD and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at George Washington University in Washington D.C. Today Dr. Cozzarelli is a member of many prestigious medical associations and has hospital privileges at CentraState Medical Center, the Northern Monmouth Regional Surgicenter, and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Dr. Cozzarelli is a partner at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute of Freehold, whose orthopedic surgeons present many free public lectures in Monmouth County, New Jersey as part of their commitment to the community.
Today, the surgeons at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute provide the Monmouth County community with specialists for every orthopedic need. Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute provides advanced medical care in Freehold, New Jersey with leading doctors and surgeons, state-of-the-art technology, and exceptional Patient-Centered, Patient-Focused Care ™. The seven practicing physicians at AOSMI have a combined 100 years of experience providing exceptional orthopedic care to the New Jersey communities of Monmouth County.