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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Pathophysiology and Comprehensive Guidelines for Clinical Evaluation and Treatment.

Curēus 2022 July
In carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), the median nerve is compressed at the level of the carpal tunnel in the wrist. This entrapment manifests as unpleasant symptoms, such as burning, tingling, or numbness in the palm that extends to the fingers. As the disease progresses, afflicted individuals also report decreased grip strength accompanied by hand weakness and restricted movement. The first half of this review elaborates on CTS pathology by providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the etiology, relevant anatomy, and disease mechanism. CTS is considered the most common entrapment neuropathy, affecting around 3-6% of the adult population. Further, CTS prevalence has seen a dramatic increase in the last few decades paralleling the growth of everyday technology usage. Despite how common it is to have CTS, it can be quite challenging for physicians to make a definite diagnosis due to differentials that present with overlapping symptoms. Even more difficult can be deciding on a course of treatment that is the most effective and considerate of patient needs. Thus arises the need for clear clinical direction, and hence we end with a discussion around such guidelines that serve as a starting point toward effective diagnoses and patient treatment.

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