Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is disorder in which a nerve (called Median nerve) gets compressed at the wrist.

The common symptoms are tingling and numbness in the thumb, index finger and the middle finger. The pain often is worse at nights and upon prolonged repetitive activities involving the wrist such as typing, playing the piano, peeling vegetables, wringing clothes, prolonged use of the keyboard and mouse etc. It begins with pain, tingling and numbness but in advanced cases weakness of the small muscles controlling the thumb ensues.

The syndrome may be bilateral (both sides).

CTS is more common in patients with diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disorders acromegaly etc. It is also common in pregnancy - and fortunately resolves once the baby is delivered.

Blood tests are required to find out any associated problems. A EMG/NCV is usually needed to confirm the diagnosis. In this test the integrity of the nerves is tested using small, controlled electric currents.

Treatment most often is often very simple, consisting of splints, precautions, ergonomic tools and a very few simple medications (diuretics and vitamins are often used). In a very small percentage of patients surgery may be needed. Endoscopic surgery is now possible and provides effective relief.

Here are few links of interest:

CTS from

CTS simplified

Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Patient education tutorials