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J Hand Surg Am. 1989 Jul;14(4):624-7.

Stress carpal tunnel pressures in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome and normal patients.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Sacramento 95817.


Twenty-two patients with carpal tunnel syndrome scheduled to have a carpal tunnel release, and six volunteer control subjects had carpal tunnel pressures measured with their wrist in neutral position, maximum flexion, and maximum extension. The wrist was then repetitively flexed and extended to maximum position at a rate of 30 full cycles per minute for 1 minute. Pressures were then continually monitored and recorded at 30-second intervals. The pressures were found to be significantly elevated in the immediate post-exercise period in the patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, and they demonstrated a prolonged recovery time to reach the resting pressure when compared with the normal control subjects. This property of prolonged recovery time in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome suggests a possible cause for carpal tunnel syndrome in the occupational setting.

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