Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel
- Results in pain, paresthesias, and sometimes weakness in the hand
- Can be acute or chronic
- The carpal tunnel is bound by the carpal bones and the transverse carpal ligament (flexor retinaculum)
- The median nerve and tendons of flexor digitorum profundus (FDP), flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS), and flexor pollicis longus pass through the carpal tunnel
- Prevalence: 1–5%; women > men
- Trauma (particularly with distal radius and carpal fractures)
- Infection (cellulitis, septic arthritis, viral syndrome)
- Inflammatory (gout, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Occupational/overuse syndromes – high impact, repetitive motion
- Trauma can have delayed presentation from median nerve contusion or alteration in anatomy from atypical healing
- Pregnancy, birth control pills, aromatase inhibitors
- Granulomatous disease: Tuberculosis, sarcoidosis
- Mass lesions with median nerve compression
- Anatomic anomalies (e.g., persistent median artery, venous malformation)
- Endocrine disorders: Hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, acromegaly
- Chronic hemodialysis
Rare in children; most common causes:
- Mucolipidosis and mucopolysaccharidosis
- Hemophilia with wrist hematoma
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Schaider, Jeffrey J., et al., editors. "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307311/all/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. In: Schaider JJJ, Barkin RMR, Hayden SRS, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307311/all/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome. Accessed May 28, 2023.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. (2016). In Schaider, J. J., Barkin, R. M., Hayden, S. R., Wolfe, R. E., Barkin, A. Z., Shayne, P., & Rosen, P. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult (5th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307311/all/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [Internet]. In: Schaider JJJ, Barkin RMR, Hayden SRS, Wolfe RER, Barkin AZA, Shayne PP, Rosen PP, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2023 May 28]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307311/all/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome ID - 307311 ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307311/all/Carpal_Tunnel_Syndrome PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -