Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (cont.)

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What are complications of carpal tunnel syndrome?

Complications of carpal tunnel syndrome are uncommon but include atrophy and weakness of the muscles at the base of the thumb in the palm of the hand. This can be a permanent complication if not corrected early enough. This can lead to lack of dexterity of the affected fingers.

What is the prognosis for carpal tunnel syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome?

The outlook is generally excellent as carpal tunnel syndrome usually responds to the conservative measures reviewed above. Sometimes surgical operation is necessary and residual weakness can occur.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and tarsal tunnel syndrome facts

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by irritation of the median nerve at the wrist.
  • Any condition that exerts pressure on the median nerve can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome include numbness and tingling of the hand.
  • Diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is suspected based on symptoms, supported by physical examination signs, and confirmed by nerve conduction testing.
  • Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome depends on the severity of symptoms and the underlying cause.

REFERENCES:

Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.

Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/2/2012

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Carpal or Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with carpal tunnel syndrome or tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal or Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - Symptoms and Signs Question: What are your carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms and signs?
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