Have you ever wondered, "what is carpal tunnel and how do I know if I have it?" About four years ago, I started joking that my carpal tunnel was acting up because out of the blue, my right hand would go numb. I could move it around, pump my fist, and magically, it would come back to life. Literally, I could feel the blood coming back to my right hand. I type a lot and worked the drive-thru register for four years when I was younger. I wondered, was this why my hand was falling asleep all the time? How do you get carpal tunnel? How do you get rid of carpal tunnel? Is carpal tunnel more than just your hand falling asleep? I had so many questions.
When I was pregnant, both of my hands would fall asleep all the time. I guess it is common for people who are pregnant to get carpal tunnel. After I had the baby, while in the hospital, my hands kept falling asleep and the hospital gave me a brace to wear. It helped some, but the falling asleep and numbing sensation was still present. Sometimes it would wake me up more often than the baby did. While I was out on maternity leave, the numbing sensations were so bad that I went to see an orthopedic doctor. He recommended an electromyogram or EMG. The EMG was very interesting but it didn't really give me any answers. I didn't have carpal tunnel, but maybe I had cubital tunnel?
I was supposed to go to a follow-up with the orthopedic doctor to get more information and results, but life got in the way and I never went for the follow-up. I kept putting it off, just hoping my condition would get better on its own. It hasn't, and it's not going to. I have known for a while that I need to get to the bottom of what is going on with my hand going numb. Recently, I was trolling Facebook and an ad popped up from The Christ Hospital Health Network. It said, "Welcome to the team, Bryan Beutel, MD! Dr. Beutel specializes in hand and wrist conditions and is now accepting new patients. " I took this as a sign and made an appointment with him.
I went to see Dr. Beutel a few weeks later and it went great. We talked a lot about my hand, wrist, and arm. He explained to me the difference between carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel. After doing some tests in the office where he tapped, flicked, and applied pressure to parts of my hands, wrists, and elbow, we decided that I needed to do the EMG again. It was back in 2016 when I had my first EMG and obviously my condition had worsened. I'm going to get the EMG and then follow up with Dr. Beutel for my results. Stay tuned to Healthspirations to follow along on my journey to get to the bottom of what is happening.
Do you have symptoms similar to Fritsch, or are you experiencing pain in your shoulder, knees, hips, or other joints? Our team can help! Click to see how our world-class joint and spine experts like Dr. Beutel at The Christ Hospital Joint & Spine Center can help.