Radial tunnel syndrome discussion

Radial tunnel syndrome refers to irritation of the radial nerve in the forearm. It may result in an aching pain in the forearm, and pain or numbness on the back of the hand, behind the thumb. It is usually spontaneous, but may arise in association with local trauma, inflammation or tumor. Onset of symptoms may be gradual or abrupt, and there may be weakness of the muscles which straighten the fingers and thumb. Symptoms may be aggravated by use, but there is no clear evidence that use of the hands causes radial tunnel syndrome. Nerve studies may or may not confirm the diagnosis. If there is no evidence of nerve damage, initial treatment options are conservative, with antiinflammatory medication, vitamin B6 and Neurontin or similar medication. Painful activities are avoided for comfort. Surgery to take pressure off the nerve may be considered after three months of plateau of symptoms. On the average, about seven out of ten patients are improved following surgery. Chances of persistent problems are greater in older patients, those with long standing symptoms, those with a compensation related diagnosis, or in the context of metabolic or multiple level nerve irritation.