North Hampshire Hospital
The Hampshire Clinic
Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK

Mr John Britton FRCS
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Information for patients undergoing orthopaedic treatment



Carpal tunnel syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, tingling and numbness that affect the hand. Symptoms are intermittent and often worse at night; patients are frequently awoken at night by pain. In more advanced cases the numbness may become permanent and in addition there may be weakness and clumsiness of the hand.

Who gets carpal tunnel syndrome?
Women are more often affected than men; it is extremely common during pregnancy. Men may be affected, particularly after periods of unaccustomed heavy activity.

What is the cause?
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve as it passes beneath a ligament in the front of the wrist.

Carpal tunnel syndrome associated with pregnancy normally resolves shortly after delivery. Other cases usually require treatment:

  • Mild cases may be treated with splintage at night, diuretic drugs or steroid injection

  • Many cases will require surgery to relieve the pressure on the median nerve. This is a relatively minor procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic and is highly successful. For details of surgery click here.


J M Britton 2007

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