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With Joshua Smith, MD

Ask Dr. Josh Smith which patient issue he sees most frequently as an orthopedic surgeon and he’ll answer you quickly – carpal tunnel syndrome.

Dr. Smith, who practices at OrthoCarolina Boone, Hickory and Lincolnton recently sat down with Hal Row of WHKY Hickory talk radio to discuss his training and the conditions he sees frequently like carpal tunnel and overuse injuries in young athletes.

Listen to the full interview below and keep reading to learn Dr. Smith’s recommendation for at-home carpal tunnel care you can try before visiting your orthopedist.

Carpal Tunnel: Causes & Symptoms

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition often associated with overuse and repetitive activity. Patients can experience their hand falling asleep, numbness and tingling in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. The condition is caused by the compression of a nerve that lives in the palm.

Treatment Options: You Can Try This at Home

Dr. Smith starts with non-operative treatment options first.

“We do whatever we can to help patients out. Surgery isn’t always the first thing you jump to,” Dr. Smith says. “For most things you try some non-operative options first whether that’s medications, injections or physical therapy.”

If these options are exhausted without improvement, the patient becomes a candidate for surgery.

“If you even suspect you have carpal tunnel one of the easiest things you can do at home is buy a simple pair of wrist splints that hold your wrist in the same position, preventing it from moving, and wear those at night to see if they help,” Dr. Smith says.

More About Carpal Tunnel:

- Surgery is an option for those with pervasive symptoms. But exactly what does that surgery entail? Join us in the operating room to watch a carpal tunnel and trigger finger surgery.

- Many overuse ailments start with the small tasks you perform each day. It's all about everyday ergonomics. From keyboard and mouse to chair and monitor learn how to set up a healthy work station.

- Our hands make so many tasks possible but we don’t often stop to care for those aches and pains. Learn three hand-care tips from an orthopedist.


July 04, 2023

On July 3rd at 8:30am, I called Ortho Carolina requesting an appointment for a cortisone shot to relieve intense pain from Carpel Tunnel. I was offered an appointment an hour later! I showed up 40 minutes later and was taken back right away to see Dr. Matt Howard. After Dr. Howard's assistant wrote down some vital information, Dr. Howard immediately enter the examination room and discussed my options. He explained that the shot could be an excellent diagnostic test. That is, if the shot reduced the pain in a week or so, Carpel Tunnel is the problem. I received the shot and left the office at 9:30am--one hour after making the initial call! This is the way medicine should be! Dr. Howard, you are the BEST and Ortho Carolina, you're the BEST too! Incidentally, the shot reduced the pain immediately and I had the best nights sleep pain free--the first in weeks. Thanks for everyone! I am deeply grateful. Frank B. Wright
- Frank B Wright