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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is caused by pressure on one of the major nerves to the hand — the median nerve — is squeezed or compressed as it travels through the wrist, which causes pain that radiate up the affected arm. With further progression, hand weakness, decreased fine motor coordination, clumsiness, and thenar atrophy can occur.


Patients can be diagnosed quickly and respond well to treatment but the best means of integrating clinical, functional, and anatomical information for selecting treatment choices have not yet been identified.

Anatomy


The carpal tunnel forms a gateway into the wrist near the crease. It is a narrow canal or tube in the wrist which allows the median nerve and tendons to connect the hand and forearm. The parts of this tunnel include:

  • Carpal bones: These bones make up the bottom and sides of the tunnel. They are formed in a semi-circle.

  • Ligament: The top of the tunnel, the ligament is a strong tissue that holds the tunnel together.

Inside the tunnel are the median nerve and tendons.

  • Median nerve: This nerve provides feeling to most of the fingers in the hand (expect the little finger). It also adds strength to the base of the thumb and index finger.

  • Tendons: Rope-like structures, tendons connect muscles in the forearm to the bones in the hand. They allow the fingers and thumb to bend