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September 11, 2002

Treatment Options for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Curtis National Hand Center, Union Memorial Hospital; and Department of Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

JAMA. 2002;288(10):1281-1282. doi:10.1001/jama.288.10.1281

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a symptom complex consisting of numbness in the median nerve distribution, typically involving the thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Symptoms frequently occur when performing certain tasks requiring wrist extension, while driving, and at night. Symptoms may progress to constant numbness in the affected nerve distribution and eventually can result in a total lack of sensation in the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and radial side of the ring finger, as well as loss of muscle function in abduction and opposition of the thumb. Carpal tunnel syndrome has the potential to substantially limit performance of activities of daily living for some individuals.