The hand and wrist is a complex combination of bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, and vessels that act in synchrony to provide the intricate function that is unique to humans.


Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common orthopaedic condition in which the median nerve is entrapped as it enters the hand from the wrist.  The median nerve acts to provide sensation to three and a half fingers (from the thumb to the middle of the ring finger) as well as certain motor function to the hand.  Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome usually report numbness, tingling, and pain in these fingers.  They also report weakness with certain hand movements.  Carpal tunnel syndrome can be diagnosed by a physical examination of the hand as well as by special nerve testing.
Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome can range from bracing, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy to cortisone injections to surgery.  Surgical treatment involves decompression of the nerve to reduce the pressure on it at the level of the wrist.