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What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist, causing progressive pain in the hand and arm. The underlying causes of the disease may be an anatomical defect in the wrist or some health problems related to the use of the hand.


Towards the thumb of the wrist, 9 tendons and median nerves pass through the carpal tunnel and are protected by a sheath so that we can bend our fingers. If this sheath presses on the median nerve, numbness, pain and even weakness may occur in the hand.

This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more common in women. This is because the carpal tunnel in women is smaller than in men.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Complaints

  • First, there may be pain in the wrist and it may hit the hand or arm.
  • There may be numbness and tingling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and sometimes in the ring finger, but never in the little finger. This situation can be exacerbated while reading the newspaper while holding the phone, steering wheel. Most people try to get these complaints to pass by waving their hand. As the disease progresses, numbness may be permanent.
  • Complaints become more pronounced at night
  • The pain may radiate from the wrist to the fingers or the arm to the shoulder. It becomes evident especially after heavy work and repetitive movements. It usually happens on the palm side.
  • Weakness in the hands can lead to situations such as incontinence, falling to the ground.

Diagnosis of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Physical examination and history are important. It is checked whether there is a loss of strength in the thumb. It is checked whether there is a meltdown in the muscles in the thumb and palm. Both hands are bent in such a way that they touch each other both internally and externally.

It is checked for pain or numbness. Our most important diagnostic tool is EMG. If in doubt due to other differential diagnoses, x-rays or blood tests may be requested.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

Most patients often recover with medical treatment and can use their hands comfortably.

As a result of the EMG procedure and according to the patient's complaints, medical or surgical treatment is decided.

The results of EMG are usually in the form of mild, moderate or severe compression.

Mild to moderate impingements are treated medically, through physical therapy, or with steroid injections.

Severe ones are treated surgically.

If the congestion in the patients is moderate, but the complaints are not relieved by the current treatment methods, then surgical method is applied.

The surgical intervention, which takes about 5 minutes, is performed under local anesthesia. An incision of 1 cm is made at the wrist level and the top of the carpal sheath is cut to relax the nerve. The patient is discharged on the same day. There is no need for dressing and the patient can start exercises after 4 days. The patient's hand returns to its former functions day by day.

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