ZocdocAnswersWhy do have I carpal tunnel in my left hand when I am right handed?

Question

Why do have I carpal tunnel in my left hand when I am right handed?

I am a 30 year old right handed woman. For the past several years I have flare up episodes where my left wrist is killing me. It has been verified that I have carpal tunnel but what I don't understand is why I do have it only in my left hand especially when I am right handed?

Answer

Carpal tunnel syndrome can occur in either wrist regardless of how much you use that wrist. Thus, it doesn't really matter if you are right or left handed. The carpal tunnel is name given for a group of tendons and nerves that tunnel through the wrist. Because this area is small, any amount of inflammation can cause compression on the structures that are traveling through the tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the inflammation compresses the median nerve which runs through the middle of the tunnel. This nerve sends pain signals that connect with the thumb, index and middle fingers. The pain can be quite severe and prevent normal use of that hand. While you are correct that carpal tunnel syndrome normally occurs in the hand you use the most, it is not always the case. This is especially true for carpal tunnel that occurs because of typing, which uses both hands. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a hand surgeon. This is almost always an orthopedic surgeon who has specialized in the hand. He or she can lay out all the options which will include non-invasive measures such as a hand brace and physical therapies to carpal tunnel release surgery. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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