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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is an irritation of the median nerve in the wrist that leads to numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in the hand. The median nerve travels down the forearm and enters the hand after passing through the wrist tunnel (carpal tunnel) that is located in the central part of the wrist.
  • The syndrome typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night. 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome affects a low percent of the population and is most common in middle-aged women.
  • Any condition that causes increased direct pressure on the median nerve in the wrist can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Many people with carpal tunnel syndrome have no identifiable cause.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is diagnosed based on the complaints of the individual combined with physical tests and often electrical tests. No single test is definitive for diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. Rather, the person's complaints and test findings together lead to its diagnosis.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Causes

The following are risk factors associated with the development of carpal tunnel syndrome:

Carpal tunnel syndrome is rare in children.

The relationship between work and carpal tunnel syndrome is unclear. Positions of extreme wrist flexion and extension are known to increase pressures within the carpal canal and apply pressure on the nerve. This is particularly true with repetitive strain injury to the wrist. Intensity, frequency, and duration of work activity and their relationship to carpal tunnel syndrome are unclear.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Symptoms

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What Are the Symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, weakness, or pain in the fingers or hand. Some people may have pain in their arm between their hand and their elbow.

Symptoms most often occur in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. If you have problems with your other fingers but your little finger is fine, this may be a sign that you have carpal tunnel syndrome. A different nerve gives feeling to the little finger.

You may first notice symptoms at night. You may be able to get relief by shaking your hand.

SOURCE:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome »

Carpal tunnel syndrome is defined as the impairment of motor and/or sensory function of the median nerve as it traverses through the carpal tunnel.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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