Typists and keypad marathoners, fear not! A new study reveals that repetitive tapping doesn’t cause carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), a painful condition linked previously to the overuse of the hands and wrists. Researchers now blame genetics.
“The scientific support for the concept [that carpal tunnel is caused by overuse] is, on average, relatively weak,” said David Ring, MD, in a news release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). “The major risk factor for carpal tunnel is genetic.” Exactly what those genetic factors are is not known, he says, but they could be related to the structure of the hand and wrists. Dr. Ring is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and a hand surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.
The findings, presented on February 16 at the 74th AAOS Annual Meeting in San Diego, is likely to change the thinking about causes, but not the standard treatments options for the condition