MIMS Education

Pain and Paresthesia of the Upper Extremity: Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes

Pain and Paresthesia of the Upper Extremity: Carpal and Cubital Tunnel Syndromes

Physical Medicine And RehabilitationInternal MedicineNeurologyFamily MedicineGeneral Practice
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About this course

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.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the educational activity, participants should be able to
  • Identify the symptoms of common upper extremity entrapment neuropathies
  • Apply specific physical exam maneuvers in examining patients with these symptoms
  • Identify which diagnostic exams to request for these patients
  • Recommend the appropriate treatment regimen in managing these patients

Topics covered

  • Anatomy of the carpal and cubital tunnels
  • Specific clinical manifestations of carpal tunnel syndrome & cubital tunnel syndrome
  • Physical examination and ancillary diagnostics
  • Pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic and surgical management

Keywords: carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, median nerve, ulnar nerve, entrapment neuropathies

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