Q5

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a collection of symptoms and signs caused by compression of the median nerve in the carpal tunnel.

Key Diagnostic Factors:

1. Presence of risk factors.

2. Numbness of hand(s), particularly in the median nerve distribution (thumb, index, middle, and part of the ring finger).

3. Symptoms often worsen at night.

4. Symptoms are usually intermittent.

5. Gradual onset of symptoms.

6. Weakness of the hand, particularly with prolonged disease.

 

Risk Factors:

1. Age between 40-60 years.

2. High Body Mass Index (BMI).

3. Female sex.

4. History of wrist or carpal bones fracture.

5. Occupation E.g., long term Keyboard user

 

Investigation:

Electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction studies are the most specific tests for CTS.

Management:

1. Initial management includes wrist splinting, particularly at night.

2. Corticosteroid injections into the carpal tunnel can help in moderate cases.

3. In severe cases or when conservative management fails, surgery to release the carpal tunnel (carpal tunnel release surgery) may be necessary.

 

Further Reading: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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