Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Frequently Misdiagnosed Common Hand Problem

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Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of the most common hand problems. The incidence is greater in females and in activities where repetitive, vibrating and/or firm grasping work is prevalent. The diagnosis of CTS may be elusive to practitioners unfamiliar with the nonspecific and intermittent symptoms. The purpose of this article is to describe CTS and the assessment needed to detect early signs and symptoms and to describe the various diagnostic tests that practitioners can perform. In addition, data are offered concerning conservative measures that can be used for the acute stage of CTS and various surgical methods for the individual with chronic CTS. The priority in patient education is to teach individuals how to reduce or eliminate environmental risks and activities that potentiate the carpal tunnel syndrome.

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