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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Emergency Medicine

Matthew T. Spencer and Linda L. Spillane Reviewed 06/2017



  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve as it passes through the carpal tunnel.

  • The carpal tunnel is the area bound by the carpal bones and the transverse ...


Signs and Symptoms


  • Acute or chronic onset

  • Numbness/paresthesia in a median nerve distribution:

    • Thumb, index, middle, and radial aspect of ring finger

  • Pain:

    • Location: Wrist or hand, sometim...


Initial Stabilization/Therapy

None necessary 

Ed Treatment/Procedures

  • Acute:

    • Hand surgery consultation for surgical release of transverse carpal ligament using either open or endoscopic techniqu...



Admission Criteria

Acute carpal tunnel syndrome requiring surgical decompression 

Discharge Criteria

Chronic carpal tunnel syndrome after adequate pain control 

Followup Recommendations

Additional Reading

  • Cranford  CS, Ho  JY, Kalainov  DM, et al. Carpal tunnel syndrome. J Am Acad Orthop Surg.  2007;15(9):L537–L548.

  • Keith  MW, Masear  V, Chung  K, et al. Diagnosis of carpal tunne...



354.0 Carpal tunnel syndrome 


  • G56.00 Carpal tunnel syndrome, unspecified upper limb

  • G56.01 Carpal tunnel syndrome, right upper limb

  • G56.02 Carpal tunnel syndrome, left upper limb

  • G56.0 Carp...

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