Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Children With Sanfilippo Syndrome
What is carpal tunnel syndrome?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common entrapment neuropathy in adults. Characterized by pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms and hands, the condition is usually caused by the compression of the nerve cell that controls hand movement (called the median nerve) and can be the result of repetitive motion. Although rare in children, carpal tunnel syndrome can develop in those with Sanfilippo as a result of the progressive nerve damage caused by the disease.
Without treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent damage to the nerve cells that control hand movements, so seeking treatment early is important.
How can I find out if my child has carpal tunnel syndrome?
Children with Sanfilippo syndrome may have trouble communicating their needs especially if they are nonverbal.
You may notice your child having trouble holding crayons or toys. Carpal tunnel syndrome is painful so your child may be able to describe the pain and numbness. If you notice changes in your child’s behavior, talk to your doctor.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome diagnosed?
Your child’s doctor may prescribe X-rays or other scans and may perform a nerve conduction test, which can identify nerve damage by measuring how fast an electrical impulse moves through the nerve. A combination of these tests will give an indication of whether or not your child has carpal tunnel syndrome.
How is carpal tunnel syndrome treated?
Carpal tunnel syndrome that results from repetitive motion can be treated with braces that hold the hands in position so there is no additional pressure on the affected nerves. Your child with Sanfilippo syndrome may benefit from using braces, and working with a physical or occupational therapist.
Surgery can relieve pressure on the compressed nerves. The surgery is quick and generally has few complications. In children with Sanfilippo syndrome, symptoms may return a few years after surgery, so it is important to keep an eye out for recurring symptoms.
Last updated: April 27, 2020
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