Font Size

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Overview

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 syndrome typically affects the thumb, index, and middle fingers and is often particularly troublesome at night. 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.

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Hand Injuries
Hand Injuries Hand injuries can be divided into six categories. 1) cuts and lacerations, 2) fractures and dislocations, 3) soft tissue injuries and amputations, 4) infections...learn more >>
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive Motion Injuries Repetitive motion injuries are among the most common injuries in the United States. All of these disorders are made worse by the repetitive actions of daily liv...learn more >>
Wrist Injury (Wrist Fracture)
Wrist Injury The wrist injury can be a sprain, strain, or fractured or broken bone(s). Treatment of a wrist injury depends upon the type of wrist injury.learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Symptoms

What were your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms?

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.



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 »

Medical Dictionary