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Carpal Tunel


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Carpal Tunel


The Carpal tunnel is a non-extending space, formed by the carpal bones and the carpal annular ligament. Carpal tunnel syndrome is when the median nerve is compressed or trapped. This condition tends to occur most in women between 40 and 50 years of age in the dominant hand although it may occur in both hands.


Regarding the causes, most cases are of unknown cause, although this condition may be a side effect of previous fractures and Tenosynovitis of the flexor tendons. Pregnancy and working in professions which involve repetitive movements are also predisposing factors.


At night there may be pain and paresthesias (pins and needles, numbness or a burning sensation) in fingers which recede when moved. As the condition advances over time, these symptoms appear during the day until muscular atrophy and the gradual loss of strength and difficulty in doing delicate tasks occurs.


The main treatments are:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Splints
  • Cortico-anaesthetic injections.

In the event of the above failing, surgery may be employed to open up the carpal annular ligament under endoscopic control.