Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome:  Carpus- the joint between the arm and hand, made up of eight bones; the wrist.  Also the corresponding forelimb joint in quadrupeds) 
The most common nerve entrapment syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome results from compression of the median nerve at the wrist, within the carpal tunnel (formed by the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament).  The median nerve, along with blood vessels and flexor tendons, passes through this tunnel to the fingers and thumb.  Compression neuropathy causes sensory and motor changes in the median distribution of the hand.

Many conditions can cause the contents or structure of the carpal tunnel to swell and press the median nerve against the transverse carpal ligament.  Carpal tunnel syndrome usually occurs more in women between the ages of 30 - 60, it posses a serious occupational health problem.  Any strenuous use of the hands aggravates this condition, those at risk are; assembly line workers and those who uses poorly designed tools.

Symptoms:

  • Weakness of one or both hands
  • Pain
  • Burning
  • Numbness and or tingling


The above symptoms can affect one or both hands, and can affect the thumb, forefinger, middle finger, and the forearm. In some severe cases, pain can spread as far as the shoulder.  The patient may have a decease sensation to light touch or pinpricks in the affected fingers.  He may have difficulty with clenching his hands to make a fist.

Treatment:

Resting the affected hand

Hand splint may be used

Physical Therapy may be require

May have to change occupation if it has been link to the patient job details

If above treatment fails, surgical decompression of the nerve by sectioning the entire transverse carpal tunnel ligament.

Neurolysis (freeing the nerve fibers) may also be necessary

Latest Article: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Is CFS a psychological illness? While fatigue is a common complaint, those individuals who have chronic fatigue lasting more than six months and who meet the CDC criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome have a condition than can be serious and disabling. Recent research does show laboratory abnormalities in the CFS patient population, although the search continues for a specific...

Related Articles: