The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway surrounded by bones and ligaments on the palm side of the hand. The median nerve passes through the carpal tunnel and providers sensory and motor functions to the thumb and three middle fingers.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve is compressed as it passes through the carpal tunnel causing a person to experience weakness, numbness, and/or pain in the hand and wrist. Considered to be a progressive condition, symptoms can worsen with time if left undiagnosed and untreated.
Symptoms can include but are not limited to:
Note: multiple symptoms can occur simultaneously in the affected hand.
Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome requires diagnostic testing. Evaluation of the nerves in the upper extremity is performed during an electromyogram (EMG) with nerve conduction (NCV). The soft tissues in the hand and wrist are evaluated using an MRI.