Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Easy on the typing

My doctor just diagnosed me with ulnar tunnel syndrome in my left wrist. It's essentially the same as carpal tunnel syndrome, except that the carpal tunnel affects the first three fingers while the ulnar tunnel affects the ring finger and the pinkie. So I will probably go easy on the typing for a while, and I guess I won't blog until after I come back from the D.C. bridge nationals.

I will be in a wrist splint and on cortisone pills for a month. If it doesn't get better, my doctor's going to send me to the hand surgeon.


Jonathan Weinstein said...

Nasty. You should know that splints are a bit controversial for treatment of RSIs...some doctors still recommend them, others think they impede recovery...it probably depends on your individual case, so you should be alert to whether it seems to help. Also, cortisone pills treat tendon or muscle inflammation but don't treat a nerve problem, so they may have limited effectiveness. "The RSI Recovery Book" by Deborah Quilter has a lot of good information. Watch out, doctors can be ignorant!

Unless this goes away quickly with rest, or even if it does, you should look into alternative keyboards. You've probably heard of the curved ones that put your hands in a more natural position. Something more high-tech, a lifesaver for me has been the "VKB virtual keyboard" which is a 3-inch device that projects the image of a keyboard on any table, and you just have to touch the image...there is a laser that detects your fingers, no pressure required. A couple hundred dollars on this can be worth more than a lot of doctor's visits! See you in DC.

The Pretender said...

Thanks Jon.
Another friend has also dealt with cubital tunnel and thinks that it could easily be a combination of a lot of things, including just stress which leads to tensing of the nerves in the neck, not necessary physical or RSI. He suggested a neurologist so while I'm going to do what my doctor says right now, I'm also going to go see the neurologist and get an EMG and see where things are at with him.

Since I might take the splint with me to DC, can you tell me how you made your card holder in detail? Thanks. See you there, Dave and I are still looking for a team.