Carpal tunnel syndrome and other nerve compressions

The nerves that run from the neck to the hands and fingers can become compressed at various places along their route.  This can cause altered sensation, strength and movement.  The hand surgeons and hand therapists at St Joseph’s Hospital regularly assess and treat these conditions.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve becomes compressed as it passes through the palm at the wrist.  The symptoms include:

  • Waking at night with tingling and numbness in the thumb, index and middle fingers
  • Increased swelling in the hand
  • Aggravation of symptoms with increased hand use
  • Reduced pinch grip strength
  • Difficultly with fine tasks

Mild carpal tunnel xyndrome can be treated with splints or corticosteroid infections.  More severe carpal tunnel syndrome may require surgery.  All of these treatments are available at St Joseph’s.

Other peripheral nerve problems commonly seen include:

  • Guyon's Canal Syndrome - compression of the ulnar nerve at Guyon's Canal in the hand or wrist
  • Cubital Tunnel Syndrome - compression of the ulnar nerve at the elbow
  • Radial nerve palsy - compression of the radial nerve in the upper arm
  • Traumatic nerve injury

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