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November 1956

Acroparesthesia: A Symptom of Median Nerve Compression at the Wrist

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Colorado Medical Center.

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(5):849-854. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280050117022

In 1953, Kremer, Gilliatt, Golding, and Wilson1 reported a series of cases of acroparesthesia in which, acting on a suggestion of McArdle,2 they had divided the transverse carpal ligament, thus decompressing the median nerve. This procedure resulted in immediate relief in most instances. Our purpose here is to describe a number of cases of this common disorder in which this procedure has been done, review the background of our knowledge of the condition, and relate it to the better-known syndrome of median nerve compression in the carpal tunnel.

Acroparesthesia is quite stereotyped in its clinical manifestations. Although much commoner in women, and indeed characteristically described in the sex, it may occur in men. The main complaint is of paresthesias in the hands. These, while they may be bilateral, are frequently more marked in the hand more used. The description varies: Often a numbness is present, sometimes a painful