One of my few guilty pleasures is watching the Sons of Anarchy, a TV drama series about a California-based motorcycle club. Although my wife insists that the show is a soap opera for men, I claim to watch it purely for educational purposes. Some of my patients are motorcycle enthusiasts and it is in their best interest that I continue watching the Sons of Anarchy saga.
Although, motorcycle accidents resulting in traumatic fracture injuries continue to be the leading cause for orthopedic visits, frequently, motorcycle riders seek my help for less obvious motorcycle-related symptoms. The most common cluster of symptoms is related to the compression of the median nerve in the wrist and includes numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or pain in hand and forearm. This condition is commonly referred to as the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is prevalent in patients who perform frequent repetitive wrist movements or experience prolonged pressure on their wrist joints. The motorcycle handlebars produce an immense amount of vibration, which is generated by the engine and the tire contact with the road surface. The biker’s right hand controls the throttle and the front brakes while the left hand controls the clutch. The constant handlebar vibration along with repetitive hand and wrist movements required to control these functions exert pressure on the median nerve in the wrist resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms.
For more in-depth information on the non-surgical and surgical treatment options of the carpal tunnel syndrome, please visit my Omaha Carpal Tunnel website. In the mean time, if you ever wondered what was wrong with Clay’s hands, he had hand arthritis. I audibly gasped every time I watched Gemma inject cortisone in his knuckles. It is best to leave administering steroid injections to your hand surgeon rather than take a chance with your soon to be ex-wife!
Dr. Izadi is a hand, wrist, and elbow orthopedic specialist at MD West ONE.