The carpal tunnel is located in the wrist, and is formed by the bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal (wrist) ligament. Through this tunnel pass the median nerve, flexor tendons (which help you to curl your fingers) and tendon sheaths (the coverings of the tendons).
Carpal tunnel syndrome (also known as median nerve compression) is a common cause of symptoms in the hand and wrist.
Ultrasound is used to take pictures or images of the wrist to confirm or exclude if carpal tunnel syndrome is present. Ultrasound is good at assessing if there is swelling of the median nerve and also assessing the adjacent structures (such as joints and tendons), which might be irritating or compressing the nerve.
If carpal tunnel syndrome is found to be present, ultrasound is used to guide the placement of a needle into the carpal tunnel to inject a small dose of corticosteroid (or ‘steroid’) and local anaesthetic medication.
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