Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the commonest hand condition requiring treatment. It can affect people at any age, and produces characteristic symptoms of altered feeling in the thumb, index finger, middle finger and half of the ring finger. Sufferers often complain of sleep disturbance from the intense tingling experienced in the hands during the night. Weakness and a feeling of clumsiness are also frequent complaints, but it is the loss of the ability to feel objects accurately with the fingertips which characterises the condition. The inability to feel and pick up tiny objects without looking at them is often referred to as tactile blindness.

The cause of carpal tunnel syndrome often remains elusive. In a minority of cases, conditions such as diabetes, thyroid problems, rheumatoid arthritis, pregnancy and obesity are thought to play a major role in causation. As a result, these conditions are always sought when assessing each new case.

People often tolerate the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome for years before seeking help. Some manage to 'put up with' their symptoms, believing them to be minor and not serious enough to bother their doctor - unaware that effective treatment is quick, simple, reliable and usually extremely successful.

These images reflect the muscle wasting often seen in advanced cases of carpal tunnel syndrome.