Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Introduction and Overview
The Carpal Tunnel is a passageway formed by bones, tendons and ligaments through which the median nerve passes into the forearm. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a disorder of the hand and the wrist characterized with pain, numbness, tingling and weakness caused by compression or inflammation of the median nerve at the wrist due to repetitive movements such as typing on a computer keyboard or playing the piano. The median nerve provides sensation to the thumb, index, middle finger and a part of the ring finger and also provides motion to the muscles of the thumb and hand (1).
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is prevalent in women to men in ratio of 3 to 10:1 with about 50 cases per 1000 subjects of the general population in the US striking people in the age group of 45-60 years. CTS is one of the most common job related injuries and may cause irreversible nerve damage and permanent disability to varying degrees if improperly treated. In certain high risk groups the number may even rise to 150 per 1000 subjects annually. About 260,000 carpal tunnel surgeries are performed annually of which 47% are work related (2).
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
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