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April 1964

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Secondary to Tuberculosis

Author Affiliations

From the Pulmonary Disease Service, Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pa.

Arch Neurol. 1964;10(4):426-429. doi:10.1001/archneur.1964.00460160096009

Introduction  Compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal canal produces characteristic symptoms and clinical findings which have been well described in recent years as the "carpal tunnel syndrome."1-4 A number of authors have reviewed the possible causes of this Condition,5-6 and systemic disease as a primary cause has been emphasized.7-9 Although tuberculous infection of the flexor tendons of the wrist with secondary involvement of the median nerve has been mentioned in the literature on several occasions,10-18 it is not generally recognized that tuberculosis may in this fashion cause the carpal tunnel syndrome.

Report of Case  The patient was a 57-year-old hypertensive Negro male with a past history of cerebrovascular accident. In June, 1962, he struck his left hand against a revolving door with his wrist in a flexed position. Although the injury seemed trivial at the time of occurrence, pain, swelling, and