Carpal tunnel is usually diagnosed when a patient reports that they have numbness along the median nerve distribution in their fingers, most commonly on one side.
When accurately diagnosed the median nerve becomes compressed through the carpal tunnel causing numbness. This is found by nerve conduction studies to see if nerve conduction in the fingers is being comprimized.
We want to make sure we are correctly diagnosed before they perform a carpal tunnel surgery.
The median nerve may become entrapped as it passes through:
- The Ligament of Sruthers
- Only 10% of the population has this.
- It's a ligament that attaches from the inside elbow to the humerus.
- This is directly over the median nerve.
- Inflammation can often put pressure on the median nerve and refer numbness into the fingers.
- Pronator Teres
- This muscle can be found just below the elbow crease.
- This is a muscle that is activated when typing or using a mouse.
- The muscle can cause chronic irritation of the median nerve.