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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Apr;121(4 Suppl):1-10. doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000305930.24851.26.

MOC-PS(SM) CME article: self-assessment and performance in practice: the carpal tunnel.

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  • 1Robert A. Chase Center for Hand and Upper Limb Surgery, Stanford University, CA, USA.



After studying the article, the participant should be able to: 1. Conduct an appropriate history and physical examination for a patient suspected of having carpal tunnel syndrome. 2. Understand the role of provocative and other diagnostic tests pertinent to the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. 3. Understand the goals of the surgical treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome and how to obtain these. 4. Appreciate the common complications of carpal tunnel surgery and their management.


The purpose of this article is to review important aspects of the history, physical examination, diagnosis, and management of carpal tunnel syndrome. Associated diseases, predisposing factors, and prognostic features are explored. The significance of diagnostic studies and the variety of anesthetic techniques with which to perform the surgery are reviewed. Evidence regarding the different surgical approaches, such as the open versus the endoscopic, is examined. Postoperative care issues such as therapy and splinting are examined. Finally, complications of carpal tunnel surgery and their management are outlined.

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