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May 19, 1969

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Secondary toMycobacterium kansasii Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Rheumatic Disease Division (Dr. Kaplan) and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery (Dr. Clayton), University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver.

JAMA. 1969;208(7):1186-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160070064021

A patient with a severe and rapidly disabling carpal tunnel syndrome due to Mycobacterium kansasii responded well to surgical decompression of the carpal tunnel and subsequent antituberculous drug therapy. Surgical treatment alone had failed when the infectious nature of the process was not appreciated. Extrapulmonary infection with atypical mycobacteria may occur without pulmonary disease. It is important to obtain material to culture for acid-fast bacteria in undiagnosed soft tissue inflammations.