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SIUSLAW NEWS ❚ FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2015
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had surgery
late last year on my right wrist for
carpal tunnel syndrome. The numb-
ness in my fingers has not changed.
Now I’m faced with the same problem
in my left hand. I’m going to forget
surgery, seeing as it wasn’t successful
in my right hand.
I decided to go to an acupuncturist
for laser treatments. I also had a corti-
sone shot. Neither of these has helped.
Do you know of a solution for my
problem? — P.M.
ANSWER: Carpal tunnel syn-
drome is caused by compression on
the median nerve, as it runs down the
arm through a “tunnel” of bone and
connective tissue deep in the wrist. It
may cause pain, numbness and weak-
ness of the wrist and hand. The thumb
and middle three fingers are most
ARIES (March 21 to April 19) A
perplexing situation needs to be dealt
with in order to avoid problems later
on. Rely on both your own sense of
what’s right and the advice of someone
you trust to help work it out.
TAURUS (April 20 to May 20) Let
your sharp Taurean business insight
guide you when considering a “dream
deal.” Without all the facts, it could
turn into a nightmare. Remember:
Investigate before investing.
GEMINI (May 21 to June 20)
Sharing so much of your time and your
gifts with others is what you do so
well, and this week, don’t be surprised
if others want to share with you. Enjoy
the experience. You’ve earned it.
CANCER (June 21 to July 22) A
difficult personal situation seems to
defy efforts to resolve it. Perhaps
often affected. In advanced cases, the
hand muscles may become atrophied.
The sooner the pressure on the nerve
is relieved, the more likely there will
not be permanent nerve damage.
It sounds to me like the first surgery
was not done soon enough to prevent
damage. If that’s the case, then sur-
gery on your left hand, done sooner
after the onset of symptoms, might
prevent the long-term numbness pres-
ent in your right hand. However, it’s
possible that the diagnosis was wrong
or that the surgery might not have
been effective, even if done promptly.
At least one study of needle
acupuncture showed that it is as effec-
tive as a cortisone injection. This
study excluded people who already
had fixed numbness in the fingers,
who are less likely to be helped by any
treatment. I have not found any evi-
dence that laser treatment is effective.
My advice is to first be sure of the
diagnosis. An EMG test is a study of
nerve function, which can confirm the
diagnosis and may be able to predict
how much damage there is and pro-
vide guidance on treatment. If damage
is not too severe, other treatments
such as splinting, medication, yoga or
ultrasound may be helpful. If
advanced, surgery done quickly still
may be your best bet.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I just found
out that I have lipedema, a rare dis-
ease. What can I do about it? My mom
and dad don’t have it, nor other fami-
ly. Should I try to find relatives who
have it? I am told that it is an inherit-
ed disease. None of these “family”
ever had it! — L.Q.
ANSWER: Lipedema is indeed a
rare disease, although it may be under-
diagnosed. It almost always is found
in women, and is suspected when
there is marked fat deposition sym-
metrically between the waist and
ankles. The areas affected often are
tender or painful to the touch. It is not
the same as lymphedema, fluid
increase due to poorly functioning or
damaged lymph vessels, although
people with lipedema can develop
Treatment includes compression
garments or manual lymph drainage,
often combined with surgical treat-
ments such as liposuction.
Only about 15 percent of people
with lipedema have a family history.
It’s not surprising that you can’t find
relatives with it.
More information is available at
several support groups, and at
you’re too close to it. Take some time
to reassess what went wrong, and then
see where things can be set right.
LEO (July 23 to August 22) Leonine
pride could be piqued a bit when
someone else appears to be standing in
your light. Be patient and resist the
urge to growl at the interloper. You’ll
soon be the “mane” attraction again.
VIRGO (August 23 to September
22) A professional situation benefits
from your clear assessment of the cir-
cumstances involved. On the personal
side, that new relationship looks as if it
will continue to grow.
LIBRA (September 23 to October
22) More good news about a loved one
helps reassure others who could not
share your more-optimistic view
before. Continue to help everyone in
need of your comforting presence.
SCORPIO (October 23 to
November 21) Creating new friend-
ships could turn out to be the unex-
pected but welcome result of recon-
necting with old friends. The weekend
is a good time for fun and games.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 to
December 21) The more you learn
about what you plan to do, the more
likely you are to consider making
some changes in your plans. This is
good; don’t resist it. Instead, go with it.
CAPRICORN (December 22 to
January 19) A career change is still in
your aspect, but a potential workplace
change could be what you’ve been
looking for. See what develops before
making any drastic moves.
AQUARIUS (January 20 to
February 18) Your energy levels are
high this week, which should help you
get all your workaday tasks done and
still leave you with enough breath to
handle some domestic challenges.
PISCES (February 19 to March 20)
An unexpected fluke could cause
problems with your travel plans. If so,
use the time to troll for other available
options, and you might be pleasantly
surprised at what turns up.
Siuslaw N ews
AD IT DAY
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