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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

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​Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common repetitive strain injury. If you experience symptoms that may be indicative of carpal tunnel syndrome, please consult your medical doctor for a diagnosis.

Understanding Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common problem that affects the hand. It is usually caused by an increased pressure in the carpal tunnel resulting in compression of the median nerve (Figure 1).

       Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 1.pngCarpal Tunnel Syndrome 2-01.png

Possible Causes

  • Injury to the wrist such as fractures and dislocations.
  • Prolonged or repetitive wrist bending and gripping.
  • Prolonged exposure to vibration.
  • Risk factors include obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, or diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain, numbness, tingling in the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers. (Figure 2)
  • Symptoms are more commonly felt at night but may also be noticeable during daily activities.
  • May face difficulty in picking up small objects due to reduced sensitivity.
  • May face difficulty in carrying bags due to weakness in grip.

Occupational (Hand) Therapy

  • Wear the splint/brace prescribed by your therapist.
  • Perform your exercises as recommended.
  • Modify the way you do your daily activities.
  • Learn self-management strategies to prevent recurrence.

    Your compliance is essential for therapy to be effective!

Surgical Treatment

The doctor may recommend surgery to alleviate the pressure within the carpal tunnel if there is minimal improvement from therapy.

After surgery, do note the following:

  • Keep your wound clean and dry. Go for wound dressing as recommended.
  • If you have stitches, they are usually removed 10-14 days after your surgery.
  • Manage your scar as recommended when your stitches are removed.
  • Manage your pain and swelling as recommended when necessary.
  • Perform hand exercises as recommended.
  • Modify the way you do your daily activities.
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