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Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD)

What is Cumulative Trauma Disorder?

A Cumulative Trauma Disorder (or CTD) occurs when a particular part of the body (often in the arms and hands) is overused to such an extent that it surpasses strain and becomes the subject of trauma itself. Cumulative Trauma Disorder is not one condition, but rather a blanket term for many other conditions, most of which are among the most common hand afflictions. Cumulative Trauma Disorders are also known as Repetitive Stress Injuries (or RSIs) This canĀ  affect joints, nerves, muscles and tendons.


What causes Cumulative Trauma Disorder?

The most common cause of CTDs is the repetitive and unrelenting overuse of a particular part of the anatomy. Because of this, parts of the body which are most often used in physical labor, such as the arms, hands, shoulders and other extremities are the most likely to be affected. CTD is one of the few medical problems that have actually become more prevalent as we grow more and more reliant on technology.


What are symptoms of Cumulative Trauma Disorder?

Cumulative Trauma Disorders are characterized by pain, swelling, numbness and tingling and weakness throughout the affected limb. Often, this pain and inflammation is worse at night and may be especially painful in the morning, but will often turn to a dull throb as the day and work go on.


How to Diagnose Cumulative Trauma Disorder

Cumulative Trauma Disorder is a blanket term for a large number of conditions that stem from the same general cause, and while the larger term itself may be used to describe a certain broad affliction that can affect a variety of muscle groups, it is more than likely that you will be given a more specific diagnosis. Some of the most common CTDs are Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Bursitis, Trigger Finger, Tennis Elbow, and Blackberry Thumb.


Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment of Cumulative Trauma Disorder

The most prevalent method of treating Cumulative Trauma disorder is to change the workstation of the affected person through ergonomics. By altering the posture in which the arm is held, it is often possible to reduce the pressure placed upon the nerve, which greatly reduces the pain, and may eliminate it altogether. With so many people working at computers all day, there are a wide variety of ergonomic keyboards, mousepads, chairs and other desk accoutrements that help people avoid developing CTDs. In addition to resting the affected area, NSAIDs, splinting, therapy and injections maybe necessary.

Surgical treatment of Cumulative Trauma disorder

While very few of the conditions that fall under CTD actually require surgery, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, which is arguably the most common affliction, often does. Due to the nature of the condition, whereby the nerve is irritated as it passes through the swollen carpal tunnel, he tunnel is released through a minimally invasive procedure Dr. Knight performs called SECTR. Other conditions also are frequently relieved through a similar minimally invasive procedure.


How can Dr. Knight help you with Cumulative Trauma Disorder?

In his many years of practice, Dr. Knight has treated many patients with CTDs. Usually through conservative treatment he can resolve the problem. Occasionally, however, surgery is necessary. If you are in pain, and want to be seen and treated by a doctor with unparalleled experience in treating CTDs and RSIs, then you can be in no better hands than those of Dr. Knight.


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HandAndWristInstitute.com does not offer medical advice. The information presented here is offered for informational purposes only. Read Disclaimer