Carpal Tunnel & Other Nerve Entrapments

Common types (syndromes): Carpal Tunnel, Ulnar Tunnel (also known as Guyon’s canal), Cubital Tunnel, Radial Tunnel, Pronator Tunnel.

What It Is: Sensation and some aspects of hand function are controlled by three main nerves: median, ulnar and radial. These pass through tight tunnels in the elbow, forearm and wrist. Any swelling within these tunnels occurs at the expense of the nerves which thus become compressed. This is usually noticed in the form of tingling in the fingers, pain, weakness or clumsiness. Symptoms are often more prominent at night and after activity.

Cause: Any swelling in these tunnels can compress these nerves. This may be due to inflammation, trauma, heavy use and numerous other reasons.

Treatment: Occasionally, splinting and rest can take care of the problem. Sometimes, steroid (cortisone) injections or Hand Therapy are helpful. Often, surgery is needed to relieve the pressure on these nerves.