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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common cause of pain in the hand and forearm.  

One of the nerves supplying the hand is called the median nerve.  This passes through a groove in the heel of the hand between the wrist and the palm, which has a ligament passing over it creating a relatively tight space.  Various conditions may contribute to reducing the space in the wrist tunnel through which the median nerve passes.

Pressure on this nerve can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include discomfort, numbness, pins and needles, and sometimes pain in the thumb, index, middle and ring finger (on the side next to the middle finger).  Sometimes pain can extend back along the forearm.  

A recommended information page for patients from NHS Choices which you may find helpful is linked here.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is commonly clinical, but can be confirmed by testing the transmission of impulses along the nerves (nerve conduction studies).

 

  

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Pain Service Website, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Webmaster Dr J G de Courcy, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Anaesthesia
email: pain.webmaster[at]glos.nhs.uk

Page updated 22/6/2016