Authors' Affiliations

Hunter Fleming, MD PGY2, The Department of Family Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Kingsport, Tennessee

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Family Medicine

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mark Brummel

Type

Poster: Non-Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Resident or Clinical Fellow

Project's Category

Musculoskeletal System

Abstract Text

Performance-related musculoskeletal disorders in musicians are common due to the biomechanics required in their craft. Unfortunately, injuries can cause many to abandon music, so determining the best approach to treatment and prevention is key. This case study’s importance is to evaluate the optimal approach to carpal tunnel syndrome in a drummer. The patient is a 55-year-old male full-time drummer with a history of diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis, who presented to clinic with chronic bilateral hand numbness and tingling that had been present for years. The location of the symptoms were mainly in the palmar aspect of the 1st digit, 2nd digit, 3rd digit, and the radial side of the 4th digit. The symptoms had progressively been worsening, and his discomfort was initially rated at a 10/10 bilaterally. He had tried over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications as well as braces without improvement. His physical exam was positive for Tinel’s sign. The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome was eventually made. The patient was treated with bilateral ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel injections with lidocaine and methylprednisolone. The other component of treatment was relative rest, which allowed us to tailor treatment to his drumming. After treatment, his discomfort was rated at 0/10 bilaterally, and he was drumming without issue. It was found that relative rest and carpal tunnel injections are effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome in drummers. His treatment was tailored to his specific instrument type, which was a key component to the success. Upon review, there is limited to no specific information on treating drummers as a specific group in the literature, but rather more information on treating musicians as a whole. Different instrumentalists have different postures and repetitive movements, so future studies would do well to examine the individual biomechanics of the different instrumentalists to better tailor treatment and prevention.

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Approach to a Performance-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder in a Drummer

Performance-related musculoskeletal disorders in musicians are common due to the biomechanics required in their craft. Unfortunately, injuries can cause many to abandon music, so determining the best approach to treatment and prevention is key. This case study’s importance is to evaluate the optimal approach to carpal tunnel syndrome in a drummer. The patient is a 55-year-old male full-time drummer with a history of diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis, who presented to clinic with chronic bilateral hand numbness and tingling that had been present for years. The location of the symptoms were mainly in the palmar aspect of the 1st digit, 2nd digit, 3rd digit, and the radial side of the 4th digit. The symptoms had progressively been worsening, and his discomfort was initially rated at a 10/10 bilaterally. He had tried over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory medications as well as braces without improvement. His physical exam was positive for Tinel’s sign. The diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome was eventually made. The patient was treated with bilateral ultrasound-guided carpal tunnel injections with lidocaine and methylprednisolone. The other component of treatment was relative rest, which allowed us to tailor treatment to his drumming. After treatment, his discomfort was rated at 0/10 bilaterally, and he was drumming without issue. It was found that relative rest and carpal tunnel injections are effective in treating carpal tunnel syndrome in drummers. His treatment was tailored to his specific instrument type, which was a key component to the success. Upon review, there is limited to no specific information on treating drummers as a specific group in the literature, but rather more information on treating musicians as a whole. Different instrumentalists have different postures and repetitive movements, so future studies would do well to examine the individual biomechanics of the different instrumentalists to better tailor treatment and prevention.