Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a progressive and increasingly painful condition that can result from compression of a nerve that supplies the wrist and hand. The median nerve runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, and innervates the palm from the thumb to the third finger. It does not reach as far as the little finger. The nerve controls sensations and also supplies some of the muscles that move the fingers and thumb. As it travels to the hand it, along with nine tendons, passes through a structure in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Carpal (wrist) bones form the sides and bottom of the narrow channel, and the transverse carpal ligament covers the top. A ligament is a band of strong connective tissue that attaches bone to bone. Surrounding the tendons is tissue called the synovium that serves to lubricate the movement of the tendons. If for some reason the synovium swells and narrows the tunnel, the median nerve is compressed and produces the painful symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.