health day reporter
Thursday, March 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Men more likely than women to undergo surgery for pain relief carpal tunnel syndromebut a small new study from one hospital suggests that gender may not be associated with the difference.
Instead, the difference may exist because men tend to have more severe conditions, the researchers said.
carpal tunnel syndrome Occurs when the median nerve in the wrist is compressed by trauma, arthritis, or inflammation of the tendons in the wrist, causing numbness, weakness, and tingling in the hand and arm.
Patients with milder symptoms are usually given non-surgical treatment such as braces or steroid injections, and those with severe symptoms often undergo a procedure called minimally invasive surgery carpal tunnel releaserelieves pressure on the median nerve by severing the carpal ligaments.
“However, in patients with moderate symptoms, it was not clear whether a nonsurgical or surgical approach was best,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Duretti Fufa, a hand and upper extremity surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
The researchers reviewed the records of 949 patients with carpal tunnel syndrome treated in the hospital and grouped them according to disease severity.
Among the 141 women and 90 men with moderate symptoms, women were 23 percent less likely than men to undergo surgery, and Hispanic and black women were four times less likely to undergo surgery than men of the same race.
The researchers noted that while the trends were strong, they were not statistically significant due to the size of the study.
The results were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Chicago. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“Overall, our findings suggest that the main reason for the increased use among men is that men are more likely to develop more severe carpal tunnel syndrome,” Fufa said in a hospital news release.
“I suspect that as the number of patients to be studied increases, differences based on sex and race may prove to be significant. At the same time, we hope that our findings will raise awareness of potential biases to ensure that we Provide equitable care to all patients,” she said.
This is especially important “for those patients with moderate disease symptoms, where surgical decisions are more subjective,” Fufa added.
The American College of Rheumatology has more information on carpal tunnel syndrome.
Source: Hospital for Special Surgery, press release, March 22, 2022