Tendonitis, Bursitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Bursitis

Small fluid filled sacs around bones, tendons, and muscles near joints can become irritated and swell with bursitis. The shoulders, elbows, and knee are often affected. Rest and protection of the joints as well as diminishing repetitive movement are common ways to prevent this disorder. Painful bursitis usually lasts one to two weeks. Excessive swelling, redness, and bruising are hallmarks of this disorder.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis is made with physical examination and simple lab tests to screen for blood markers of more severe inflammation.

Treatment options include ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory medication. Sometimes a cortico-steroid injection will be provided to diminish inflammation. Strength training and physical therapy help with the localized effects of this disorder.  Joint cushioning with special orthotics may help diminish recurrence. Surgery, maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise, are very important.  Treating diabetes aggressively is very important to diminish the recurrence of bursitis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Median nerve pressure due to hormone changes, obesity, pregnancy, or inflammation is called carpal tunnel syndrome due to the anatomy in this part of your wrist. A painful thumb, index finger, and middle finger are a sign of the disorder. Repetitive hand movements also contribute to this disorder, which is seen frequently in people whose work requires use of a keyboard, sewing, or other repetitive tasks.  

Diagnosis and Treatment

Clinical examination, the patient’s report of symptoms, and an electromyogram to test nerve function in the hand are all used to diagnose this disorder. Often, thyroid tests and a blood count will be checked as well as a blood sugar to evaluate for diabetes.  

Rest, ice, and splinting the affected wrist at night are the mainstays of therapy for carpal tunnel syndrome. Anti-inflammatory medications are also used to treat this disorder. The symptoms are transient at first, but the disorder may recur and lead to permanent changes in the sensation of the hand and the strength of the hand muscles.