Muscle intrusion as a potential cause of carpal tunnel syndrome

Authors

  • Michael S. Cartwright MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Main Floor Reynolds Tower, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Francis O. Walker MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Main Floor Reynolds Tower, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
    2. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Jill C. Newman MS,

    1. Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Thomas A. Arcury PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
    2. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Dana C. Mora MPH,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Haiying Chen PhD,

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
    2. Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • Sara A. Quandt PhD

    1. Center for Worker Health, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
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  • This study was supported by grants from the CDC/NIOSH (R01OH009251 to S.A.Q.) to study occupational injuries in Latino poultry workers and the NIH/NINDS (1K23NS062892 to M.S.C.) to study neuromuscular ultrasound.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an association between flexor digitorum and lumbrical muscle intrusion into the carpal tunnel and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Methods: Five hundred thirteen manual laborers (1026 wrists) were evaluated with ultrasound to determine whether those with CTS had more muscle intrusion into the carpal tunnel than those without CTS. One hundred ninety of the participants without CTS at baseline (363 wrists) were followed over 1 year to determine whether muscle intrusion at baseline predicted the development of CTS. Results: Participants with CTS had more muscle within the carpal tunnel with the wrist in the neutral (P = 0.026) and flexed (P = 0.018) positions than those without CTS. Baseline muscle intrusion did not predict development of CTS at 1 year. Conclusions: Muscle intrusion into the carpal tunnel is associated with CTS, but muscle intrusion alone does not predict the development of CTS over the course of a year. Muscle Nerve 50: 517–522, 2014

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