A schoolgirl is facing surgery on both wrists after sending more than 100 text messages a day from her mobile phone.
Annie Levitz, 16, who has lost the feeling in her hands and is unable to pick up some objects, has to wear braces on both wrists and also needs pain-killing injections.
Doctors say she is suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, whereby nerves in the wrist become trapped. The condition is usually associated with frequent computer keyboard use.
Annie, from Chicago in the U.S., insisted she has cut down on her texting habit - but only to 50 a day. 'I know it's not good enough, but I am trying,' she said. 'It's not even good texts. It's things like, "Hey, hey, what's up?".'
She says she now hopes to trade her mobile in for an iPhone - as its touchscreen should make it easier to type out texts.
Annie said that she got scared after she began to develop pain.
‘I started losing feeling in my hands and they'd go numb,’ she explained. ‘I'd go to pick up dishes and things and they'd just fall out of my hands.’
Doctors then diagnosed Annie, a pupil at Adlai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, about 35 miles north of Chicago, and fitted braces on her wrists.
She has also had cortisone injections to deal with the pain. But Annie will still have to go under the knife in a bid to relieve her discomfort.
Her mother, Carrie Levitz, said she couldn’t take the phone away from Annie because it was her ‘whole social life’.
‘Sure, I've thought about it. But if you have teens you know that doesn't work,’ she said.
‘When we found out that it was carpal tunnel syndrome, I was just angry.'
However, the condition hasn’t deterred Annie from texting – and the teenager still manages to send out up to 2,000 messages a month.
Dr Sofia Aksentijevich, the rheumatologist who diagnosed Annie, said: ‘It's unusual among younger patients, but not unique.’
Symptoms of carpal tunnel include not being able to grasp things or losing your grip, frequent burning, tingling or itching numbness in the palm of the hand and the fingers.
‘I still prefer texting,’ Annie added, ‘but I've learned that some communication is not worth it.’