Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questions & Answers

Updated: Feb 27, 2018
  • Author: Nigel L Ashworth, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which studies are performed in the initial workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of electrophysiologic testing in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of ultrasonography in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of MRI in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is included in the initial management of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the efficacy of wrist splinting for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of steroid injections in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the pathophysiology of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the cause of nerve damage in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which factors increase the risk for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) in the US?

What is the global incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is progression of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) if left untreated?

What are the racial predilections of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

How does the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) vary by sex?

How does the incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) vary by age?

Presentation

What are the signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

How is pain characterized in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the autonomic symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

How is muscle weakness characterized in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of physical exam in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which sensory exam findings are characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which motor exam findings are characteristic of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of the Hoffman-Tinel sign in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of the Phalen sign in the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of the carpal compression test in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of palpatory testing in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of the square wrist sign in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

In addition to the Phalen and square of wrist signs, which physical tests are performed in the evaluation of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of hand usage in the etiology of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the demographic risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of genetics in the etiology of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which medical conditions are associated with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the vocational/avocational risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are risk factors for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What indicators predict the severity of hand pain in women with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

DDX

Which conditions should be included in the differential diagnoses of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the differential diagnoses for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Workup

What is the role of lab studies in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of MRI in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of ultrasonography in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the initial studies performed in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of electrophysiologic testing in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of thermography and vibrometry in the workup of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Treatment

What is the role of physical therapy in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are the therapeutic options for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of occupational therapy in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the efficacy of conservative medical treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the efficacy of steroid injections for treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of anticonvulsants in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of NSAIDS and diuretics in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the efficacy of surgical intervention for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which specialist consultations are beneficial in the management of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What are promising treatment options for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Guidelines

What are the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons treatment guidelines for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Medications

Which medications are used in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

Which medications in the drug class Diuretic agents are used in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Which medications in the drug class Cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors are used in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Which medications in the drug class Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used in the treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Follow-up

What is the long-term monitoring needed following treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

How is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) prevented?

What are the complications of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is the prognosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?

What is included in patient education about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)?