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NewsCAPS: Cubital tunnel syndrome (or cell phone elbow) ranks second after carpal tunnel syndrome

Section Editor(s): Jacobson, Joy

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AJN, American Journal of Nursing: September 2009 - Volume 109 - Issue 9 - p 20
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000360298.55335.17
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Cubital tunnel syndrome (or cell phone elbow) ranks second after carpal tunnel syndrome as the most common upper-extremity nerve compression syndrome, reports the May Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. Prolonged cell phone use, especially with the elbow bent, can compress the ulnar nerve and cause aching, burning, numbness, or tingling in the forearm and hand. For most patients, wearing a hands-free headset or frequently switching the cell phone between hands while talking decreases symptoms. If such noninvasive remedies don't work, antiinflammatory injections or surgery may be necessary. And text messaging can cause repetitive stress injury, not to mention anxiety, falling grades, and sleep deprivation in American teens, says a May 26 New York Times article. U.S. teens sent and received an average of 2,274 text messages a month in the fourth quarter of 2008, more than twice the 2007 average. In addition, a University of Utah study of college students using a driving simulator found their risk of crashing while texting was eight times their normal risk.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.