Have you ever woken up and had trouble keeping your knees straight or found your wrist drop? This could be because of dead leg syndrome or Saturday night syndrome. Read on.
It was a fun night out, but the next morning Rajat woke up and noticed something strange with his wrist, it was drooping and lacked sensation. A visit to the doctor revealed that he had SNS (Saturday Night Syndrome).
Saturday Night syndrome
If the name gives you the sense that this has something to with partying, then you aren’t entirely wrong. Saturday night syndrome occurs due to pressure on the radial nerve by keeping the arm in some unusual position while sleeping. This occurs usually after a night of heavy drinking as one may lose consciousness. The palsy occurs due to injury to the nerve in the bone of the arm.
According to Dr Sunil Apsingi, consultant orthopaedic and sports injuries, KIMS, “Saturday Night Syndrome gets its name from a situation in which people who are drunk unknowingly sit with their arms crossed thereby compressing the nerve. This need not be only with regard to people who are drunk. Anyone who unknowingly stays in such a position for a long time may exert pressure on the arm where that particular nerve is located.”
Talking about the position which causes the injury he says that one is if a person sleeps with his/her hand over the head and the second is in case someone is laying over your arm.
Saturday Night Syndrome can occur to anyone who sleeps in the wrong position and is not conscious enough to notice the pain or discomfort caused due to the position.
In any other situation, the pain and discomfort is noticed and the person then changes position, explains Dr Sunil.Saturday Night syndrome is also known as Saturday night palsy. Wrist drop is the most common symptom associated with SNS. Certain patients may also suffer from swelling, paralysis and severe pain in the arm.
Dr Sunil says, “When it comes to treatment, observation is important. First we need to wait for the nerve to come back to normal, In certain cases a wrist splint may be advised to prevent the tendon from further tearing and exerting pressure on the nerve.” Physiotherapy may also be advised. Dr Sunil mentions that in extreme cases, surgery may also be considered.
Saturday Night Syndrome unlike dead leg syndrome may take a longer time to heal as the crushed nerve needs to replace itself. In some cases it may even take the patient up to a year.
Dead leg syndrome
Dead leg syndrome is also known as quadriceps contusion. This occurs due to a bruise or contusion that is caused by a impact with a muscle that has been crushed against the thigh.
According to Dr Sunil, “This usually happens to people who are into contact sports (like football) though it may happen to others also. When there is an injury to the thigh, the muscles get crushed thus making it difficult for the person to keep their leg straight.” The injury is a soft tissue injury.
Recovery and treatment
Talking about recovery and treatment, Dr Sunil says, “Recovery usually takes time depending on the injury. Treatment will be required till the person reaches a fitness level similar to what it was before the injury. In terms of immediate treatment the “RICE” method is advised.”
RICE implies: Rest, ice packs , compression and elevation which is usually advised for all kinds of softtissue injuries.
Apart from the RICE technique Dr Sunil says that physiotherapy may also be advised. When it comes to dead leg syndrome in severe cases it may take up to 12 weeks to recover but in regular cases it takes around six weeks.