Approximately 75% of all persons who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and are given steroid injections for their condition, will require surgery in the future. That information comes from new research that indicates that three-quarters of patients who were given steroid injections for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, eventually undergo surgery for this painful condition.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that is marked by pain in the wrist. The pain occurs as a result of repetitive stress injury affecting the median nerve which is located in the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel consists of ligaments and bones, and is located at the base of the hand. If this area is constantly subjected to contact with a hard object or surface, or is frequently used or deviated, the person may suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.

The person can suffer from pain in the wrist, which eventually develops into shooting pain that goes right up into the arm. There may also be a numbness or tingling sensation in the hand or wrist.

The traditional method of surgery is called an “Open Release” where the carpel ligament is cut to enlarge the carpel tunnel. Endoscopic surgery is becoming more popular because this type of surgery allows for rehabilitation.

Manufacturing sector workers who are frequently required to use their hands for manual work, and desk job workers who sit at a computer all day, comprise two groups of workers that may be at a higher risk for carpal tunnel syndrome. We see carpal tunnel syndrome often diagnosed with workers who do repetitive work with their hands.

Often, patients are administered steroid injections in order to reduce the pain, and eliminate the swelling in the area. However, the researchers found that even when steroid injections are given, patients will still need surgery down the line. In fact, they found that surgery to free up the carpal tunnel, and eliminate the pressure on the nerve that causes the pain, is the most effective and widely used treatment for severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Doug Horn is a Missouri work accident lawyer, dedicated to the representation of victims of workplace accidents across Missouri.