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Nerve Compression Syndromes of the Hand

Overview

Entrapment neuropathies of the upper extremity are common problems. A wide range of physicians, from primary care providers to specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, or neurosurgeons, are sought to care for these problems.

What has traditionally been attributed to features of normal aging (eg, weakness, loss of function or sensation) has been subsequently recognized in younger patients whose vocations require repetitive motion to complete work-related tasks. Repetitive motion, force, posture, and vibratory influences on the peripheral nerves of the upper extremity are poorly understood but are blamed as contributing factors to the development of neuropathic symptoms.

Currently, patterns of symptomatology, objective measures of nerve function (eg, electromyelogram [EMG] evaluation, nerve conduction studies), and the anatomy associated with nerve compression have been well outlined.
Despite attempts at conservative medical and functional management, surgical decompression has become the choice for definitive treatment.

For patient education resources, see the Hand, Wrist, Elbow, and Shoulder Center and Procedures Center, as well as Repetitive Motion Injuries and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

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