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June 14, 1958


Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn.

From the Section of Medicine (Dr. Ward), the Section of Orthopedic Surgery (Dr. Bickel), and the Section of Neurology (Dr. Corbin), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

JAMA. 1958;167(7):844-846. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.72990240006008b

The syndrome resulting from compression of the median nerve at the wrist has been designated variously: median neuritis, median thenar neuritis, professional or occupational median neuritis, thenar neural atrophy, partial thenar atrophy, thenar palsy, tardy median palsy, median neuropathy, and, most commonly at present, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Recognition of this syndrome has evolved slowly. Paget1 a century ago called attention to the late development of disturbed function of the median nerve after fractures of the wrist; this delayed, or tardy, median palsy was ascribed by him to compression of the nerve under the transverse (or volar) carpal ligament by the presence of callus or of thickened and indurated tissues adjacent to the nerve. In 1909, Hunt suggested that thenar atrophy might be caused by compression of the thenar branch of the median nerve as it emerged from beneath the transverse carpal ligament; later he attributed the lesion to compression