Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a prevalent hand disorder caused by compression of the median nerve at the wrist. It has an immense impact on national health care, worker productivity, and quality of life. CTS is commonly treated by a surgery that transects the transverse carpal ligament to decompress the median nerve. Our search for a non-surgical CTS treatment alternative has resulted in a novel mechanism of median nerve decompression by applying transverse compression to the wrist to reshape and enlarge the tunnel space. In this project, we design and develop a strategy of carpal tunnel manipulation that achieves treatment efficacy for CTS. Our central hypothesis is that our approach of biomechanical manipulation increases carpal tunnel area, thereby decompressing the median nerve and alleviating CTS symptoms. This project combines basic science and clinical translation, elucidating the underlying morphological and physiological mechanisms of the biomechanical intervention for a systematic and rigorous development of an evidence-based strategy for CTS treatment.
Sponsored by NIH R03AR054510, NIH R21AR062753, NIH R01AR068278