Hand & Wrist Conditions

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

At the junction between the forearm and the palm of the hand, 9 tendons and a nerve (the median nerve) pass through a tunnel formed by bones and a fibrous band.

In carpal tunnel syndrome, the median nerve does not have enough space in the tunnel. Symptoms fluctuate and vary. Most common symptoms include tingling or pain in the palm and fingers that can radiate up the forearm. In some cases, weakness of the hand becomes a problem, too.

History and physical examination are often enough to diagnose carpal tunnel syndrome. In nearly all cases the diagnosis is confirmed with a nerve conduction study


Dr Paul van Minnen

Dr Nicholas Smith

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome depends on its severity, time since onset and patient wishes and expectations.

Sometimes hand therapy and wearing a splint at night can be sufficient to relieve symptoms. In other cases, surgery is needed to provide more space for the nerve in the carpal tunnel. This is done by releasing the fibrous band of the tunnel with an open or endoscopic operation.