Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (141 KB)

Definition

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is the most common nerve compression syndrome with characteristic symptoms and signs due to pressure on one of the main nerves of the hand, the median nerve, at the wrist.

Pathology

Most commonly there is no specific cause identified, known as idiopathic. The tunnel in the syndrome is formed by a tough ligament (transverse carpal ligament or flexor retinaculum) and by the curved carpal bones. The ligament helps keep the structures (9 tendons and 1 nerve) that pass under it in place and provide protection for the nerve. It can arise due to swelling of the contents of the canal or thickening of the ligament.

Symptoms

Signs

(Note wasting of thumb muscles)

  • Decreased sensation on testing with “monofilaments” in the distribution of the median nerve.
  • Decreased muscle power in the thumb.
  • Reproduction of symptoms with pressure over the nerve or flexing the wrist.
  • Electric shock like sensation when tapping over the nerve.

Investigations

Non-Operative Treatment

Operative Treatment

(Wound at 2 weeks)

(Wound at 2 months)

These notes have been prepared by orthopaedic surgeons at OrthoSport Victoria. They are general overviews and information aimed for use by their specific patients and reflects their views, opinions and recommendations. This does not constitute medical advice. The contents are provided for information and education purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. Please seek the advice of your specific surgeon or other health care provider with any questions regarding medical conditions and treatment.