Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition where the median nerve is compressed where it passes through a short tunnel at the wrist. The tunnel contains the tendons that bend the fingers and thumb as well as the nerve.

CTS commonly affects women in middle age but can occur at any age in either gender. CTS can occur with pregnancy, diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis and other less common conditions, but most sufferers have none of these. CTS occurring in pregnancy often resolves after the baby is born.

The main symptom is altered feeling in the hand, affecting the thumb index, middle and ring fingers; it is unusual for the little finger to be involved. CTS may be associated with pain in the wrist and forearm.

Dealing with Carpal tunnel:

  • You may benefit from the use of splints, especially at night.
  • If that is not successful, you may be referred to see a specialist.
  • Further treatments include a steroid injection or surgical decompression.
  • Sometimes further tests called nerve conduction studies are organised to confirm the diagnosis.