Orthopaedics  |  Carpal Tunnel Suspected




Orthopaedics

Carpal Tunnel Suspected

Clinical presentation in brief:

  • tingling numbness or pain in the distribution of the median nerve:
  • thumb
  • index finger
  • middle finger
  • half the ring finger
  • symptoms are often worse at night, causing wakening
  • some people present atypically, eg sensory changes in all digits   (Source MoM)


Additional information:

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a relatively common condition that causes pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers. Usually, these sensations develop gradually and start off being worse during the night. They tend to affect the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger.


Other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include:

  • pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • thumb weakness
  • a dull ache in the hand or arm

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the nerve that controls sensation and movement in the hands (median nerve).

The carpal tunnel is a narrow passage in your wrist made up of small bones and a tough band of tissue. It acts as a pulley for the tendons that bend the fingers.

It isn't known why the median nerve becomes compressed in most cases, although certain things are thought to increase the risk of CTS developing, such as:

  • a family history of CTS
  • pregnancy - up to about 50% of pregnant women develop CTS
  • injuries to the wrist
  • other health conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • strenuous, repetitive work with the hand

In some cases CTS will disappear without treatment, or simple self-care measures will reduce the symptoms.

CTS in pregnant women often gets better within three months of the baby being born. However, in some women, symptoms can continue for more than a year and require treatment.

Non-surgical treatments, such as wrist splints and corticosteroid injections, are used to treat mild or moderate symptoms.

In more severe cases of CTS, surgery is usually required to reduce the pressure on the median nerve.

Source: Conditions - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

 



Last updated : Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Next review date : Wednesday, October 12,2016


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