Entrapment neuropathies are a group of disorders caused by compression or irritation of the peripheral nerve as it passes through a narrow anatomical passageway. The two most common entrapment neuropathies are the carpal tunnel syndrome and the cubital tunnel syndrome. Repetitive or prolonged wrist flexion or extension in carpal tunnel syndrome and elbow flexion in cubital tunnel syndrome produces increased pressures in these anatomical tunnels thereby causing compression of the nerves. Proper hand and elbow positioning is important in the prevention of nerve damage which may need surgical management if left unchecked.
This e-learning module summarizes the symptoms of common upper extremity entrapment neuropathies, the specific physical examination findings for each and the diagnostic and treatment options available.
Keywords: carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, median nerve, ulnar nerve, entrapment neuropathies