Along with Dr. Richard Singer and a team of researchers including Samuel Gay, Scott Diamond MD, and and Mitchell Gauger MD, Dr. Nelson recently published their findings from a retrospective study investigating the relationship between common hand conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger, and undiagnosed or “pre” diabetes.
Their study, titled “Warning Signs: Occult Diabetes and Dysglycemia in the Hand Surgery Patient Population,” was originally delivered as a podium presentation by Dr. Nelson at the 2020 Annual Meeting for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. It suggests a strong link between carpal tunnel syndrome on both sides and early, undiagnosed, or impending diabetes or pre-diabetes. Male patients with elevated BMI and bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome were most at risk of having diabetes or pre-diabetes and not even knowing it!
It is well known that patients who have a diagnosis with diabetes are more likely to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger, more likely to need surgery, and more likely to have continued nerve problems even if successful surgery is performed. What is NOT known, however, is how often patients have diabetes or pre-diabetes and don’t even know it, and the first “warning sign” is carpal tunnel symptoms.
“Hand surgeons encounter a patient population with high rates of undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes, with some presentations as much as 6 times higher than the general population. Certain patient presentations should prompt appropriate diagnostic testing and referral, especially those presenting with bilateral compression neuropathy and elevated body mass index.” (Excerpt from Manuscript)
If you would like to read the manuscript, contact us here to request a free copy. Congratulations to Drs. Nelson, Singer, Gay, Diamond, and Gauger, and thank you for your contributions to our understanding of musculoskeletal conditions.